Updated at: 06-06-2023 - By: Jane Brody

Little as they are and with their own unique waddle, penguins make for cute looking animals.

It is important to remember that these creatures are still in the wild and therefore present a threat of attack or illness.

Penguins almost never view people as a threat.

This means that while penguins aren’t completely harmless, they often avoid harming humans.

It’s possible that this phrase gave you hope for your deepest desire to embrace a real-life penguin friend and slide down ice mountains.

Are Penguins Aggressive To Humans?

Are Penguins Dangerous

When not threatened, they aren’t generally aggressive, but that could change.

You have to understand that penguins are only found in the Antarctic and other extremely cold locations of the southern hemisphere.

As only a select few plant and animal species are able to thrive in such conditions, land predators are generally absent from a penguin’s natural environment.

Generally speaking, raptors such as skuas and giant petrels are the only predators of penguins on land.

However, the Antarctic winter is too harsh for even these birds.

Even more importantly, these raptors lack the strength to prey on adult penguins.

The penguins don’t think humans or any other terrestrial creatures are dangerous.

Because of this, the presence of humans actually piques the interest of penguins.

That’s why most penguins won’t attack you the first time you meet them.

It’s been suggested that penguins’ lack of aggression stems from their inability to conceptualize the existence of predators.

Quite the contrary.

You have to understand that penguins are marine birds that dive to great depths to get food.

It is estimated that penguins may spend up to 70% of their lives underwater.

Therefore, they are solely threatened by marine predators such as leopard seals, sea lions, whales, and, very infrequently, sharks.

Penguins have an innate fear of humans, but only those that live in the ocean.

On the other hand, humans have been around longer than any penguins.

For example, sailors used to salt and preserve the meat of many penguins to have a seemingly endless supply of penguin meat for the duration of their voyage.

No penguin was likely to have made it out alive after being taken, therefore none of its species would learn to fear humans from hearing the narrative.

Perhaps the fear of people developed as a result of the consumption of entire penguin colonies at the time.

Anyway, some types of penguins are known to be hostile, even toward their own kind.

It’s not surprising that they’re violent against people.

Examples of such animals are:

  1. Gentoo Penguins
  2. Adelies Penguins
  3. King Penguins
  4. Emperor Penguins
  5. Chinstrap Penguins

In the past few decades, there has been a disturbing rise in violence among different species of penguins.

Go ahead and check out my article — At this point, you might be wondering:

Why Are Penguins Becoming Aggressive?

Are Penguins Dangerous-2

Reasons given by ornithologists include the following:

1. Environmental Changes

Because of global warming, once ice-cold regions are now quite mild.

This has opened the door for several creatures, especially predators like raptors, to migrate and feast on penguins.

This means penguins are becoming wary of walking around on solid ground.

2. Artificial Introduction Of Species

A number of exotic species were artificially introduced to new areas as a result of human exploration.

Penguins have little immunity to the land-based predators and diseases they face.

Smaller penguin species, such as the blue penguin, have been known to fall prey to foxes, weasels, and cats.

Even interested bystanders are met with animosity in these Exposed Penguin nests.

An increasing number of penguins are displaying hostile behavior toward visitors.

Still, it’s kind of cute to picture a penguin becoming upset.

More importantly, a penguin should get used to you if you have no plans to harm it.

Therefore, you could be questioning.

Are Penguins Safe To Touch?

Are Penguins Dangerous-3

That is dependent upon the type of penguin and the environment in which it was nurtured.

See, penguins and people just don’t get along very well in the wild.

It’s uncertain what diseases could be transmitted by touching a wild penguin.

Long distance travel by humans to reach penguins raises the already high probability of contracting a rare disease.

The scientific and technological prowess of the human race makes it far better able to combat any such threats.

Nonetheless, penguins know nothing about penicillin.

So, even though they have a strong immune system, penguins probably won’t make it through man-made illnesses.

Since penguins live in such tightly knit communities, even the slightest interference from humans can wipe out an entire colony.

True story: it’s against the law to get into contact with a penguin in the wild.

Scientists studying penguins are only allowed to handle the birds when absolutely required, and even then only after taking all possible safety measures.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, it is only just that penguins be protected from human suffering.

Yet, penguins raised by humans become accustomed to physical contact and are thus not likely to return to their colonies.

In addition, they have undergone examination for known health risks and conditions.

It is normally safe to touch a penguin in an artificial environment.

However, interaction with the penguins is restricted even in these facilities.

A penguin can typically only be touched with two fingers, and even then only if the penguin initiates contact.

Can I Hug a Penguin?

Even while it’s possible to give a penguin a hug, that doesn’t imply you should.

There’s no way we can have wild penguins.

Nowadays, adult penguins in captivity are more hostile than their wild counterparts.

Perhaps these penguins prefer the openness of the ocean to the confines of pond life, or perhaps they suffer from some kind of imbalance in their daily lives.

Captive-reared baby penguins don’t intentionally avoid human contact.

This penguin is huggable, then.

How Does It Feel to Hug a Penguin? 

Penguins, on the other hand, have compact bones and a strong muscular structure.

Even though their feathers are short, penguins are meticulous groomers.

Because of this, a penguin is able to keep air bubbles in its feathers.

As a result, the penguins’ feathers stay dry and warm, and the water resistance is reduced.

Why I Shouldn’t Hug a Penguin?

Because being attracted to a penguin isn’t reason enough to risk your lives by hugging one.

A hug from a penguin is not recommended for several reasons.

1. Hugs Can Be Scary For Penguins

Hugs from strange animals are frequently fatal in the wild.

The reason is that most animals, excluding humans, do not find members of other species cute or appealing, but rather weak and delectable.

Predators are the only animals who give their victim an embrace so powerful that it takes their breath away.

That’s why a penguin could react with extreme fear to a warm hug.

Think about a grizzly bear chasing you and trying to grab you to get a sense of the intensity of this situation. Is the bear looking to offer you a bear hug or smash you up for dinner?

Then why would a penguin like to hug a human being?

2. Hygienic Issues

Because of their body structure, penguins may launch their waste many feet out.

In the environment, penguins can benefit from this adaptation because it helps them avoid picking up dirt and debris.

Because of his confined living quarters, a domesticated penguin is particularly vulnerable to such illnesses.

Exposure to penguin feces raises the possibility that penguin skin has infectious bacteria or illnesses.

However, penguins in captivity are not exactly trained to use the restroom.

While side-hug access to penguins is typically permitted at facilities,

When you terrify a penguin by hugging him on the side, there’s no telling if he’ll release his projectile droppings on you.

3. Penguins Have a Distinct Odor

Penguins regularly groom themselves and oil their feathers.

Additionally, many of their meals consist of uncooked fish and other aquatic animals.

For the sake of their offspring, they will even regurgitate food.

To add insult to injury, penguins can descend from standing position without realizing it.

As a result, it shouldn’t come as a shock that: penguins have an offensive fishy smell.

4. Penguins Can Cause Physical Harm

Today, a typical penguin weighs over 20 kilograms and can reach a height of 1 meter.

Although flightless, penguins can swim, giving their muscles tremendous strength.

In addition, the pressure of the ocean doesn’t cause their joined wings to break.

Bones and muscles can be broken or torn by the wing slap of a giant penguin.

And penguins have big beaks.

Finding a plush penguin is your best bet if you’re looking for a cuddly companion who happens to be a penguin.

Not only will it be nice and toasty, but it will also be inexpensive and safe.

However, you could have witnessed someone actually hand-feeding fish to penguins.

Consequently, at this point you might be wondering.

Do Penguins Bite Humans?

The grown-ups are the ones who do it.

Penguins, you see, have these really big bills comprised of this hard keratinous stuff.

Penguins’ beaks help them target their prey precisely even when swimming.

The beaks of penguins are powerful enough to pierce the human eyeball.

Human-made penguin sanctuaries have resulted in the practice of having penguin caregivers perform tasks such as handling the birds, cleaning and feeding the birds, and even occasionally holding the birds.

Caretakers of penguins can keep tabs on how many fish each bird consumes by feeding them by hand.

Did you know that even the most seasoned penguin keepers have experienced bites from the birds?

Young penguins typically aren’t aggressive.

They are so friendly and gentle that a person can cuddle one on his or her cheek.

But even they can spread disease if you get too close.

That’s why it’s best not to touch them unless absolutely necessary.

Even though wild penguin chicks are cute and playful, they stick together for safety.

Some of these penguins have demonstrated aggressive behavior.

Rate this post