Penguins Up Close, Personal & Selfie-Snapping?

Animals taking selfies have become a thing ever since that now famous “monkey selfie” went viral back in 2011. Naruto, a male crested black macaque named Naruto took a pic of himself using a camera belonging to [human] wildlife photographer David J. Slater.

Notably, Slater specified in the book that “the shutter was pressed by the monkey.” Legally, in so doing, the Ethical Treatment of Animals sued Slater for damages, alleging that the human had infringed on Naruto’s copyright.

Naruto Selfie

Penguins take the lead from Naruto?

But can the same be said for two Antarctica emperor penguins who captured a video of themselves after stumbling upon a camera left on the ice by another human.

Eddie Gault,who was a member of a group of exhibitioners had placed the camera on the ground near the Auster Rookery — home to a large emperor penguin colony — while visiting the nearby Mawson research station.

When these penguins tried to obtain a bird's eye review of the camera, the result was a comical 38-second clip that appears like a video selfie.


At the start, the video captures the penguins from a low vantage point. But then one bird inquisitively waddles over to the camera and — with a single impressive kick — angles the screen to focus only on his face.

Not to be overlooked [literally], the bird’s BFF nudged its way into the frame. For a little over a half minute, the two chirp and cock their heads humorously at the screen, before perking up and shaking their heads (and bellies) repeatedly — appearing to audition for a reality TV dance show.

However there is question whether this was a true selfie? Not according to The Washington Post’s contributor Amy B. Wang. “The video isn’t a true ‘selfie’ — the camera was recording when the birds approached it — but charmed viewers don’t seem to mind.”

Another Selfie Penguin?

The recent 'emperors' vid' was not the debut of penguins ‘monkeying around' with cameras. There was another recorded instance when a penguin went up close and personal in Antarctica.

In 2013, a Gentoo penguin snapped an epic, open-beaked photo of itself using a GoPro camera from a Canadian cruise company.

Penquin Selfie

So you be the judge, dear reader. Selfie or just pure penguin luck? And if they are selfies, can these flightless birds, like Naruto take the photographic credit and get the copyright? Probably not — but funny to conjecture, don't you think?

Primary Source: The Washington Post