Penguins are known for their loyalty to their mates, so when a male penguin returns home to discover another male penguin cosied up to his lady partner, you-know-what hits the fan.
In a video posted by National Geographic two years ago, two male penguins engage in a fierce battle for love, leaving both parties tired and bloody. The video went viral; the intensity of the fight was shockingly violent and surprised many. (Seriously, I had to fast-forward the end).
A fight breaks out when a husband comes home and finds his wife with another penguin. pic.twitter.com/9ejYGcJ5TJ
— Nat Geo Channel (@NatGeoChannel) November 4, 2016
On average, 72 percent of penguins will return to mate with the same bird as in previous years. This is particularly impressive given that there are thousands of penguins per colony and they spend an average of three to four weeks together each year – remaining loyal can’t always be easy.
The narrator of the video explains: “Every September, 200,000 penguins come here to fix up their nests and breed. Life here is good, but this husband has come home to find his ‘wife’ with another penguin. He flips out.”
Only 26 per cent of penguin separations occur due to ‘divorce’ – the primary factor is death. This means watching the disgruntled ‘husband’ confront the thoughtless ‘homewrecker’, is quite a rare sight.
The husband loses the fight, finally admitting defeat after two attempts to win his mate back. Twice, they diplomatically ask the lady-in-question to decide who she wants, and twice she rejects her old partner.
Frankly, it’s quite painful, on many levels, to watch.
However, the commentary is delightfully funny and the video conveniently comes just before the launch of the new season of Nat Geo’s program Animal Fight Night, which premieres November 26.