By Charlie Loran • 24 November 2020 • 17:31
A WORLD famous gay penguin couple have become daddies for the second time after adopting an egg neglected by a straight couple.
Sphen and Magic, two male Gentoo Penguins at the Sea Life Aquarium in Sydney, shot to stardom when they hatched their first baby in October 2018.
Zookeepers at the aquarium noticed them attempting to nurture and hatch a rock and instead gave them a spare egg to take care of.
After proving themselves to be ‘incredibly caring’ parents to their first daughter Lara, Sphen and Magic were given another egg to hatch.
A spokesperson from the aquarium told the Star Observer, ‘If one of our pairs has too many eggs or are not good at looking after their eggs we will sometimes foster these eggs out to other pairs like Sphen and Magic.
‘We gave Sphen and Magic an egg to incubate as they have proven to be good parents in the past.’ Sphen and Magic’s second child arrived along with other Gentoo Penguin babies that privately hatched in the aquarium’s Sub-Antarctic Zone.
The couple who first grew close in 2018 and became inseparable during the breeding season, taking swims together and collecting stones to build their nest.
Zookeepers gave the couple a dummy egg, which they lovingly cared for, before giving them the chance to foster an egg from another couple that had two.
Lara, nicknamed Sphengic, is now grown up and starting a family of her own. The aquarium said, ‘Lara is now two years old and surprising us every day with how independent she is.´
The aquarium spokesperson revealed that same-sex couples and courtship were a lot more common in nature than most people realise. ‘Penguins, including Gentoo Penguins, are among the many species in which male-male or female-female pairing occur frequently and we are fortunate to have our own male-male pair – Sphen and Magic – here at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium.
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