At Leave No Trace we put a lot of work into helping people understand that animals need their space. Humans take up so much of the world that when we go into areas where wildlife is at home, we need to make sure we do it on their terms. That means giving them space.
Maybe it is because we are used to cuddle-toys and petting zoos as kids, and then to pets as we grow older. That makes us expect that animals are there to be cuddled and patted.
Have a listen to the link to an interview about selfies with penguins. I thought the sedated tiger story was tragic.
Leave No Trace teaches that when a wild animal changes its behaviour we are too close. The changed behaviour means the animal is not doing what it should be doing- it is spending energy on responding to threat that you might pose.
Wild animals face many challenges in today’s world, some of them because of humans. Lets give them the opportunity to go about their daily routines without disrupting them. Using binoculars is a good way for us to see them up close, without getting up close. This also lets us see them being themselves.
Penguins are wonderful, amazing animals and it is natural and good to be fascinated by them. Lets hold that fascination together with respect for their ways of life. The best outcome is that we can learn to share the planet with wild animals.