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Two gay penguins determined to become fathers steal egg from lesbian neighbours

Emma Powys Maurice October 21, 2020
gay penguins

The two gay penguins were desperate for a chick of their own (DierenPark Amersfoort)

Two gay penguins are so determined to become fathers that they have commandeered the entire nest and egg of a lesbian penguin couple.

The aquatic soap opera unfolded this week at Amersfoort’s Dierenpark zoo in the Netherlands, where the African penguins’ nesting season is in full swing.

The two male penguins, who are the dominant couple in the 17-penguin enclosure, made headlines last year after they stole another bird’s egg when no one was looking.

Sadly it didn’t hatch and the would-be fathers remained chickless — but in their bid to become parents they’ve now gone a step further and nabbed a whole nest.

Unfortunately for them, they picked the wrong penguin couple to steal from.

Zookeeper Sander Drost told RTV Utrecht the new egg probably won’t hatch because it’s unlikely to be fertilised, as it happens to have been laid by a lesbian pair.

Nevertheless, the two male penguins are dutifully caring for the egg in hopes that they might finally hear the pitter patter of tiny flippers.

“The gay couple are looking after the egg very well and take turns in keeping it warm,” said zookeeper Marc Belt after their first nest-napping attempt.

“Homosexuality is fairly common in penguins, but what makes this couple remarkable is that they have gotten hold of an egg.”

Gay penguins were observed in the wild as early as 1911 and same-sex penguin couples are commonly found in zoos around the world.

Last year penguin parents Electra and Viola delighted zoo-goers when they welcomed an adopted chick at the Oceanogràfic Aquarium in Valencia, Spain.

Keepers noticed that the penguins were showing common breeding behaviours and building a nest using stones, so they decided to give them an egg to raise together.

Another gay male penguin couple, Sphen and Magic, gained global fame in October 2018 when they hatched their first chick, tragically named Sphengic.

 

More: Dierenpark zoo, gay penguins, Netherlands, penguin couple

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