First Gay Penguin Couple To Foster An Egg Together In A Zoo
Love is not an easy thing to find. But you know when you do. When they are with you, your pulse races and your heart flutters. Not having them around makes you anxious. Two male Gentoo Penguins have shown the aquarium they call home that they feel that love for each other.
The breeding season began like normal this year at Sea Life Sydney. Penguins paired off and did the usual things, swimming and waddling together.
Tish Hannon, the penguin department supervisor of SLS, noticed two male penguins, Sphen and Magic, were spending the majority of their time together. She also noticed they would bow to each other, body language that behaviorists say is a Gentoo penguin’s way of telling their partner “I love you.”
Penguins began gathering ice pebbles, signifying they were ready to make a nest. To help them out, the staff at the aquarium left enough real pebbles for all the birds to use. To everyone’s surprise, the gay penguin couple had gathered the most pebbles and built the largest nest out of all the birds in their enclosure.
To include the couple in the ‘breeding’ part of the season, Sea Life Sydney gave Sphen and Magic a dummy egg to look after. The pair did so well in caring for the dummy egg, that staff gave them a real egg from another pair.
Taking an egg from a male/female pair was no big deal, as most of the time in the wild, only one out of two eggs will survive.
Since Gentoo split the responsibilities of caring for an egg equally, Hannon feels there is no need to step in. “We’ll only step in if absolutely necessary, but we’re confident they’ll be great parents.”
Sphen and Magic are not the first gay penguin couple in the world and they likely won’t be the last. Wish them luck in raising their baby Gentoo.