This pair of male penguins who live in a Dutch zoo were so desperate for a baby that they stole an egg from a couple of breeding penguins.
The African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) were recently found to be incubating a stolen egg at the DierenPark Amersfoort zoo in the Netherlands. Their nest, in which the egg was being kept, was close to a nest that belonged to a male and female couple, according to zoo workers in this statement.
Hatching season had already began in the zoo’s penguin community, and it’s likely that the males decided to snatch the egg in an opportunistic moment when their breeding neighbors weren’t watching.
The male couple are still in possession on the egg, and they take turns warming it, while the animal caregivers keep a close eye on things. Some penguin chicks in the zoo have already hatched, and it’s possible this particular egg may not have been fertilized so will never hatch, and the sneaky couple will never get the baby they were hoping for.
This isn’t the first case of same-sex penguin couples making the news and warming the hearts of readers around the world.
Roy and Silo, a couple of male chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis antarcticus) from the Central Park Zoo in NYC, were partners in a relationship for six years. Skip and Ping, male king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus), became an intimate couple at Zoo Belrin. Sphen and Magic, gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua), were in a loving relationship at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium in Australia.
Interestingly, all three of these couple fostered eggs. Silo and Roy hatched their chick in 2004, and Sphen and Magic had their “Baby Sphengic” hatch in Oct 2018. Sadly, Skip and Ping remain childless despite all their best efforts and attention to their egg. Their unfertilized egg burst open earlier this year according to German news site The Local.
Other types birds have also been known to form homosexual relationships. Over 130 different species of birds have shown some extent of homosexual behaviour, ranging from complex courting rituals, the touching of genitals, and even nesting together for many years, Live Science previously reported.