'Get me a penguin now!'
- Snow Chick: A Penguin's Tale aired on BBC1 last night
- The programme followed an Emperor penguin from birth to leaving home
- Twitter couldn't 'deal with the cuteness' while others were scared for it
A penguin documentary caused a frenzy on social media as viewers were left overwhelmed by the 'cuteness' of one fluffy baby chick.
Snow Chick: A Penguin's Tale, which aired on BBC1 last night, focused on a baby Emperor penguin, capturing moments of vulnerability as it pecked at snow in an attempt at nourishment and narrowly avoided attacks from predators.
The hour-long BBC1 documentary, narrated by actress Kate Winslet, showed the chick from five months from when it hatched up the moment it left its family and and all viewers wanted to do was 'cuddle' the young bird.
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At around six weeks old, Snow Chick, which is now covered almost from head to foot in fluffy grey down, is finally able to start walking on its own two feet - with some prompting from mum, of course
Snow Chick gets ready to be fed. Even to the eye of a penguin, other adult penguins look identical, so they identify each other by their calls, which are like a cross between a gull's call and a croak
Film-maker Frederique Olivier and her assistant Martin Passingham spent almost a year in the Antarctic, making the most adorable documentary of the festive season.
The pair camped 60 miles from the coast, coping with blizzard conditions and temperatures as low as minus 60C.
Plus they weren’t even allowed to get within 20 yards of their subjects as the emperor penguin breeding colony they were studying is protected by strict international law.
They captured the intimate shots by hiding cameras in rocks or disguised as penguin chicks, and one operated by remote control that resembled a full-size bird, sliding about on its belly.
The original plan was to capture every stage of the breeding cycle but instead they couldn't help noticing that one of the eggs hatched late and the chick was smaller than the others. A star was born.
And Snow Chick's struggle to survive appeared to make viewers melt as he survived against the odds - and looked adorable doing it.
Viewers were in love with the penguins 'cute' appearance. The programme also showed a nail-biting moment where it appeared the chick might die and some viewers appeared quite traumatised
Irene Valentia wrote on Twitter that she 'couldn't deal with the cuteness.'
While @Grid_Spy posted the chick was so cute, she 'wanted to give him a cuddle and keep him warm.'
The programme showed a nail-biting moment where it appeared the chick might die and some viewers appeared quite traumatised because they had been rooting for the little penguin.
But Snow Chick producer John Downer has previously explained that the film crew could do nothing to protect the tiny bird.
Snow Chick is so famished waiting for his mother's return, it pecks at the snow in his desperation for something to fill him up. Its mother narrowly missed an attack from a leopard seal
They were barred from approaching the penguins and the only food chicks can eat is pre-digested fish regurgitated by their parents.
The most nail-biting moment came as Snow Chick's parents left the colony and headed out to sea, leaving their youngster behind.
Rather than go in search of food, the chick waited until it was half-dead from hunger.
One user @lauren_ord was finding to hard to cope through the emotional highs and lows of the show, which included it almost being eaten by a bird and his parents leaving it to fend for himself.
Twitter users watching the show were 'too invested' in the penguin's life and were cheering it on through tough times. While one viewer was close to 'cancelling Christmas' if anything went wrong
She wrote: 'I can't handle this emotional rollercoaster this baby penguin is going through.'
@amii0484 wrote: 'Swear to God if anything bad happens to these penguins, I'm cancelling Christmas.'
While @nickinburgh posted: 'My goodness this penguin documentary is enthralling.'
'I just exclaimed "oh no" out loud. I may be too invested.'
@kitttyhorton wrote: 'Well that was more intense than I thought it would be.
'Snow Chick pulled it out of the bag and became the leader of the pack.'
Snow Chick was seen growing older and a few months old, had survived the extremely harsh conditions of the and now it's running around and exploring
It looks like penguins will be high up on the Christmas list this year with the chick's 'adorable' story and his fluffy exterior leaving many with a lasting impression
By the age of five months, Snow Chick is now nearly at his full height of 4ft and can eat as much as 5kg of fish in a sitting — brought to it by its parents. The programme showed it then leaving his parents to swim in the Antarctic Ocean
Annie Sphere posted: 'Never thought I could become so emotionally invested in the life of a penguin.'
While Bernadette Nangura wrote: 'Snow Chick was one of the cutest things I've ever watched. Get me a penguin now.'
And it looks like penguins will be high up on the Christmas list this year.
@MrLJeffries wrote: 'I want a penguin for Christmas! Is it too late now Santa?'While @SophieAppleyard was moved by the 'funny, adorable and emotional' programme.