LOOK: This Bloody Emperor Penguin Is the Most Badass Thing You’ll See All Week

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)

I bet you never thought you’d see the words “badass” and “penguin” in the same sentence. Yet, the following photo proves there is, in fact, such a thing. The image below captures a bloody emperor penguin after enduring a failed attack by a much larger ocean predator. Know that the following photo might be disturbing for some Outsiders.

According to the popular Instagram page, NatureIsMetal, this penguin’s gruesome red dye job comes courtesy of a leopard seal attack. Per the post, the penguin sustained what appears to be a serious injury while fishing for food of its own.

Fortunately, as the post points out, these flightless birds don’t have many, if any, land predators. And given the extent of this particular penguin’s injuries, which marks it as an easy target in the ocean, its ability to survive on land is a real blessing.

Still, the injured emperor penguin faces another dangerous foe: infection. Clearly, the large bird managed to avoid death by seal attack. However, avoiding serious infection promises to be a challenge all its own. Viewers took to the comments in shock and awe.

“‘You should see the other guy,'” one viewer quipped. Another added, “If he survives, he will be a legend.”

Emperor Penguins Designated ‘Threatened’ Amid Climate Crisis

Leopard seals aren’t the only threats facing the Arctic’s emperor penguins. While the warrior above has a personal battle with survival, his species as a whole has officially been designated “threatened.” The new ruling comes as the ongoing climate crisis continues to melt the ice that these large birds live on.

Amid the current crisis, the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife announced earlier this month that they would grant the penguin species protections which officially began Tuesday, November 8th.

These penguins are threatened because with the rapid disappearance of the sea ice that they inhabit, they are unable to adequately reproduce, meaning their overall population is slowly beginning to dwindle. Now that these animals are considered threatened, wildlife experts will more easily be able to help aid in population growth and habitat conservation.

Martha Williams, Fish and Wildlife Service Director, said of the new designation, “This listing reflects the growing extinction crisis and highlights the importance of the [Endangered Species Act] and efforts to conserve species before population decline becomes irreversible.”

In regard to the large birds’ new designation, she added, “The listing of the emperor penguin serves as an alarm bell but also a call to action.”

What’s significant about the above statement is that the penguins’ status as threatened doesn’t necessarily mean populations are declining. It does indicate, however, that if climate change continues to worsen over the next several years, it’s possible that this species could become endangered within the next few decades.