1. ITV Report

Hidden colony of emperor penguins discovered in Antarctica

The newly discovered emperor penguin colony Photo: International Polar Foundation/PA Wire

A hidden 9,000-strong colony of emperor penguins has been discovered in the Antarctica.

Scientists from the British Antarctic Survey and US colleagues discovered the colony of one metre tall penguins from satellite images.

The birds' toilet habits gave away their location in Antarctica's Princess Ragnhild Coast , by leaving faecal stains on the ice.

Thousands of penguins are pictured on Antarctica's Princess Ragnhild Coast Credit: International Polar Foundation/PA Wire

Three experts from Belgium's Princess Elisabeth Antarctica polar research station visited the site in early December and have become the first people to visit and photograph the colony.

Expedition leader Alain Hubert said the surprise was "more than all I could have expected" Credit: International Polar Foundation/PA Wire

Expedition leader Alain Hubert described the moment as "unforgettable".

I knew from last year's satellite study that there could potentially be an emperor colony east of Derwael ice rise.

The surprise was even more than all I could have expected or dreamed about: I realised while counting the penguins that this was a very populated colony.

It was almost midnight when we succeeded in finding a way down to the ice through crevasses and approached the first of five groups of more than a thousand individuals, three-quarters of which were chicks.

This was an unforgettable moment.

Baby emperor penguins are watched over by adults ones Credit: International Polar Foundation/PA Wire

The team had been studying ice loss some 50 kilometres from the colony at a remote site 250 kilometres from the Princess Elisabeth research station.