Humboldt penguins are small and easy prey for larger predators, and with that in mind, it may not come as much of a surprise that they run away from potential dangers.
Video footage captured with the help of a hidden camera disguised as one of their own shows a group of Humboldt penguins being chased by fur seals. The penguins don’t realize that the fur seals are only playing, as they prefer to prey on fish and creatures of the sea. But we don’t blame the penguins for going with the flight response, as they’re particularly large compared to the birds.
As the penguins run away, they’re eventually pushed far into a sea lion colony before they can make their way back to their nesting site. Sea lions look a lot like fur seals, albeit three times as large and willing to harm or eat the penguins. This likely explains why the penguins are so afraid of the playful fur seals in the first place.
In order to get back to their nesting site, the penguins will need to brave the sea lions, stepping in between and over them to scurry back to safety. Many of the sea lions attempt to sink their teeth into passerby penguins, but they’re simply too slow and clumsy to strike it rich while the penguins are small and agile.
After that high stress situation, the penguins appear to make it back to their nesting site safely, at least until the next time some fur seal decides to scare them off again…