These elderly lesbian penguins are raising a chick together
A lesbian penguin couple are raising a chick together, a zoo has revealed.
The penguins, named Thelma and Louise, have fostered the chick after its birth mother was left by her partner, leaving her struggling to raise the chick.
At 24 Thelma and Louise are very old to be parents, with the species having an average life expectancy of 15-20 years.
But zoo bosses think the same-sex penguin couple make the perfect parents, so gave the egg to the two females.
“King penguins have to incubate that egg on their feet for 55 days,” Ebony Dwipayana, who works at Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium, New Zealand.
The couple now take shifts in looking after the egg, each looking after it for two or three days at a time, then swapping so the other can look for food.
“They absolutely love having a chick to take care of,” zookeeper Dwipayana said.
“Obviously they’re not able to have their own, so the fact that they can still raise a healthy chick is amazing for them, and is such a beautiful experience to share.”
The couple’s happy story was revealed in an interview on New Zealand TV when they visited the zoo.
Watch the full video below:
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It’s not the first story of gay penguins looking after chicks.
The penguins at Polar Land in Harbin said the gay parents had a strong instinctive urge to become parents.
A zookeeper said: “One of the responsibilities of being a male adult is looking after the eggs.
“Despite this being a biological impossibility for this couple, the natural desire is still there.”
The gay couple had tried to hide their antics by replacing the eggs with stones.