Two gay penguins at the Odense Zoo in Denmark have become fathers.
The Toronto Star reports that the two king penguins adopted an egg that had been abandoned by a female penguin. Zoologist Nina Christensen said that the penguins took turns incubating the egg.
“This year has been extraordinary … With King penguins, they mix it between the male and female. One stands with the egg while the other goes to feed and then they shift … It was the same with this pair. They both incubated the egg.”
Chritensen said that zoo keepers noticed that the gay penguins wanted a baby of their own when they tried to steal an egg from some of the other penguins. The gay penguins were able to get their own egg when a female penguin delivered two eggs and abandoned one of them.
The zookeepers gave the gay penguins a fake egg to practice with and eventually decided to let them care for the abandoned egg. The two king penguins took care of the egg and last month they hatched a little baby king penguin.
According to the Toronto Star, the penguins at Odense are believed to be the first gay adoptive dads. They are not, however, the world’s first gay penguins. That honor goes to Buddy and Pedro, two male Chinstrap penguins at the Central Park Zoo in New York City.