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Baby Penguins jumping off 50 foot cliff

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On April 11, 2024, a wildlife filmmaker captured an amazing scene in Antarctica: about 700 baby emperor penguins took a daring jump off a 50-foot cliff for their very first swim. This event took place on the icy cliffs of the Ekstrom Ice Shelf.

The footage shows these young penguins gathering at the cliff’s edge, hesitating at first. Then, bravely, one after another, they plunged into the cold waters below. Despite the danger of large ice chunks in the water, which could hurt them, the chicks popped up swimming and seemed excited by their new ability.

This leap is a big step in their lives, marking their transition from being cared for on the ice to becoming independent swimmers. Emperor penguins are the largest of all penguin species and only live in the icy waters around Antarctica. For the first five months, the chicks stay close to their parents in the brutal winter, then they lose their fluffy baby feathers and are ready to swim. Normally, these penguins jump from lower edges of ice, but some colonies have started to nest higher up, making their first swim even more of a challenge.

This particular dive was filmed over two months and will be featured in a documentary about these penguins, set to release on Earth Day in 2025 on a popular streaming platform.

This film will show not only their adventurous first swim but also the challenges these birds face from climate change, which threatens their icy home.

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