By Euro Weekly News Media • 28 May 2012 • 11:04
INCA and Rayas, two male penguins at Faunia, a Madrid nature park, are soon to become parents. Staff noticed around six months ago that the pair had entered into a relationship.
“They love each other as though they are male and female.
They court the same way and they couple the same way,” explained one of their keepers.
All that was missing, she said, was an egg to incubate.
This wish was granted when another penguin considerately laid two eggs and one could be taken along for Inca and Rayas.
“They were very surprised at first, really nervous and didn’t quite know what to do,” the keeper said.
“But they soon got the idea.” They now take turns at incubating the egg which is due to hatch in around two weeks’ time.
“They protect it with their lives,” she said.
“Inca doesn’t move. It’s his first egg and he doesn’t intend to let it go. Even if we offer him the very best fish he stays where he is.”
Same-sex couples are quite common amongst penguins.
Two males from Harbin Zoo in China made headlines last year when they were caught trying to rob eggs from heterosexual couples.
The problem was later solved when the keepers gave them their own chick to bring up.
All male penguins share a highly-developed maternal instinct, according to experts, and help incubate eggs in the wild.
Couples also mate for life.
Photo credit: Faunia
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