A video featuring a real-life gay penguin couple getting married is winning hearts on Valentine’s Day.
The clip captured the luxury ceremony that was thrown for the “inseparable” penguin couple, Ferrari and Pringle, by their human keepers.
The penguins, who first met at Heythrop Zoo in Oxfordshire, were driven in a Bentley to the mock ceremony at a beautiful venue in the Cotswolds, before being treated to a fish wedding breakfast.
Penguin keeper Jess McGugan of Amazing Animals was on hand to walk Pringle down the aisle for the ceremony.
She said: “Ferrari and Pringle make a beautiful couple. I see them every day at the zoo and when they are apart, they cry and pine for each other.
“It is so cute and heartwarming to watch them.”
The two penguins are trained to work in the entertainment industry, and have previously made appearances on Alan Carr’s Chatty Man, The Jonathan Ross Show and Our Zoo.
McGugan added: “These two penguins have worked together for years now, and they couldn’t spend a day without each other.
“They were so in love, I am overwhelmed they have been able to tie the knot today.”
The gay penguin wedding day was captured for the clip by the Gateshead-based Wedding Video Company.
Founder Rob Earnshaw said: “We’ve captured the special day for hundreds of happy couples but I can honestly say, hand on heart, that nothing can quite prepare you for a celebrity penguin wedding.
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”
He added: “From the moment Ferrari and Pringle entered the room you knew it was going to be special. Who doesn’t like a bit of bling and glamour on their wedding day?
“They even managed to sing along to ‘I Will Survive’ at the top of their voice! A classy day for a classy couple and not a diva moment in sight.”
He added: “Our cameras stopped rolling as they entered the honeymoon suite as some things are sacred.”
The company clarified that the welfare of the couple “was paramount throughout the entire wedding day, and no animal was harmed during the recording of the ceremony.”
Gay penguin weddings are rare, but gay penguins couples are surprisingly common
Homosexual pairings are common in penguins, with many gay penguin couples attracting a human following after their unencumbered relationships attracted attention.
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A children’s book that tells the real story of two male penguins raising an egg together is one of the most-banned books in the US.
The book, And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnel, is based of the true story of penguins Roy and Silo, who started a relationship in New York’s Central Park Zoo.
Zookeepers gave the pair an egg to take care of—which hatched into their adoptive son Tango.
In 2012 two gay Gentoo Penguins called Inca and Rayas were given their own egg to rear at Madrid’s Faunia Park after yearning to be parents for six years.
Ireland’s Oceanworld became home to a lesbian penguin couple in 2014, when Penelope and Missy coupled up.
It doesn’t always go to plan, though.
In 2016, an endangered species breeding programme for king penguins at Berlin Zoo hit a stumbling book after the programme’s two male penguins made clear they were only interested in having sex with each other.
Toronto Zoo also experienced a similar stumbling block with a breeding programme in 2011, controversially attempting to break up gay couple Buddy and Pedro in order to convince them to breed with females.
In 2017, two gay penguins in a Chinese zoo landed in hot water when it emerged they were stealing eggs from straight couples.
Gay penguins at Odense Zoo in Denmark also got into trouble in September 2018, when they kidnapped a baby from two straight penguins who they decided were doing a bad job.
The chick was returned by zookeepers to its biological parents, a decision which the gay couple did not take well, fighting to reclaim the chick. They were eventually given their own egg to raise instead.