Two homosexual emperor penguins at Berlin Zoo are bracing themselves for the life-changing impact of fatherhood after zoo staff gave them an egg to adopt last month.
“The two male penguins are acting like exemplary parents, taking turns to warm the egg,” zoo spokesman Maximilian Jaeger told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.
The two penguins, Skipper and Ping, have already become protective of the egg, shielding it from the other penguins.
The two 10-year-old penguins have apparently been getting broody for some time and signalling they wanted an egg. “They kept trying to hatch fish and stones,” Jaeger said.
Eventually, the zoo staff gave them a real egg from the only female in the group, who had repeatedly failed to hatch her eggs for several years in a row.
After receiving the real egg, the two gay penguins got straight to work. “We’re not sure if the egg has been fertilized,” Jaeger explained. If it has been, then it should take around 55 days for the hatchling to emerge.
The zoo spokesman pointed out that homosexual penguins are not a rarity in captivity nor in the wild. “Same-sex penguin couples exist in their natural habitat as well,” Jaeger said.