Lesbian penguins Electra and Viola with their adopted chick – Photo: Oceanogràfic Valencia, via Facebook
Two lesbian penguins at a Spanish oceanarium have become the parents of a new chick that hatched from an egg they adopted and incubated together.
Zookeepers at Oceanogràfic València noted that penguins Electra and Viola had recently begun building a nest out of stones, as if to prepare for a new chick. The caretakers rewarded them by taking another penguin couple’s fertile egg and giving it to Electra and Viola instead.
The parents of the egg did not appear to be upset by the adoption, and have since produced another egg together, reports the New York Post.
In an August 17 post on its Facebook page, Oceanogràfic València wrote: “Electra and Viola, two female penguins from the Oceanogràfic València, have incubated the egg of another couple and now have their first offspring.
“Although the formation of same-sex pairs is common in more than 450 species both in zoos and in nature, this is the first time this has happened in our aquarium. So…welcome to the world, little one!”
Even though homosexuality is common in penguins, same-sex penguin couples have earned headlines in recent years. In November, a pair of gay African penguins at the Netherlands’ DierenPark Amersfoort zoo grabbed another couple’s egg and tried to hatch it themselves.
Last September, Sea Life London announced that its same-sex penguin couple, Rocky and Marama, would be raising their adopted hatchling “genderless,” something that is not unusual, because penguins often don’t show any signs of gender-specific behavior until they reach adulthood, according to Graham McGrath, the general manager of Sea Life London.
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