Are Penguins Friendly?

Penguins are adorable species of flightless birds. There are around 17 species of living penguins. Each of them is unique and differs in the appearance and character. Penguins are neither friendly nor harmful to humans. Many of the penguin species that are away from Antarctica may have less curiosity to see the human since they would have seen them in many instances.

Penguins of Antarctica may have the eagerness to see and observe the actions of humans if they are encountering for the first time. Since penguins have less of land predators, it is not likely for them to get afraid of humans.

Penguins may come near you to study you, if you try to catch them they will run away like any other birds. If you are in an expedition and you see any penguin crossing far, you can sit down quietly to observe the spectacular species swim in the water or sometimes you can have an opportunity to see one reaching you or some chicks may also climb on you if you are sitting down.

Magellanic penguin chick

To have a great look at penguin you have to maintain less noise because penguins are very reactive for noise and disturbances. Also, you are not allowed to pet the penguins if you are a tourist. So, there is a way for penguins being friendly with you or have a warm cuddle with you.

Penguins are also quite ferocious when it comes to the safety of their nest and chicks. Penguins like Rockhopper and Chinstrap penguins are termed to be angry penguins that take up the fight easily with their species. Sometimes there are also occasions where penguins have pecked human’s leg when near the eggs or nests.

Penguins never expect a friendly touch or love from humans, they want mere silence and space for their behaviors. They get startled only when their living is disturbed, especially when near the nest or eggs.

Angry Macaroni penguins

Angry Macaroni penguins

Penguins face off each other that may also be between different species of penguins. They fight using their strong beak or sometimes with the tail. The commotion will be mainly because of capturing the nesting area or sometimes in a related sexual fight like choosing the partner, etc.

Emperor penguins are said to be less aggressive penguin species, but they even show aggressive behaviors when it comes to personal intervention. Penguins are caring parents, but they do not have any emotional connection towards humans as any other pet at home.

Even the little penguins and African penguins that are found in the wild waters and see human very often, do not allow human to be friendly. How short we make our self to penguins, they reach us closer.


Moreover, we should not forget that penguins are not understood completely as a bird species to expect a cuddle and approach as a pet. They have strong scaly flippers and sharp bills to use towards the opponent. One cannot get them in hand because of these reasons.

Since, we have seen the species in media and advertisements with the upright body and waddling walk, they are not comical as we imagine. They can turn aggressive anytime if they feel uneasy and turn to be harmful towards the human. There are no major injuries recorded by penguins to humans. But they may peck you if they feel threatened.

So, it is better to be aware and wear a strong boot that can protect your leg from below your knees against penguin’s bite. The younger penguins do not harm you; they have a lot more curiosity and approach the human than the adult penguins do.


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I got interested in penguins from a young age and as I grew I realized that penguins are such fascinating birds. I made it a mission to create a website where all information about penguins could be accessed in an easy to read format.

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