Two male penguins snagged a baby at Odense Zoo in Denmark after its parents went for a swim, a zookeeper said in a video shared Tuesday.
As NBC News is reporting, the penguins had wanted to be parents for a long time and likely thought the chick’s parents were being neglectful went they left the baby alone, zookeeper Sandie Hedgegard Munck said.
As soon as the parents left the scene, the kid was simply “kidnapped,” Munck said, who added that she believes the perceived negligence was on the part of the father in the straight penguin couple.
“I know that the female is very caring for the kid, and she is also very aggressive to us animal lovers if we get too close to the chick,” Munck explained in Danish, as quoted by NBC News. “I think the female had been out to get her bath, and then it had been the male’s turn to care for the kid. He may have then left, and then the [gay] couple had thought, ‘It’s a pity, we’ll take it.'”
When the male couple realized that the chick was left behind, they probably thought “that’s too bad, we’ll snatch it,” Munck said, according to Fox News. After taking the chick, the same-sex couple nestled the chick and cared for it as if it were their own.
The chick’s parents came looking for their baby a day later and eventually located it with the gay couple. A confrontation promptly ensued, which was captured on camera and later shared on the Odense Zoo Facebook page on Tuesday. The video shows one of the chick’s foster parents squawking at the parents while keeping the baby between him and his partner as both crane their necks.
At this point, Munck had to intervene, reaching under the foster parent to grab the squealing chick, the video shows. Munck then returned the baby for its mother, who quickly placed her young between her legs. One of the foster parents still tries to react, but Munck pushes him to the side. The couple eventually resigned and let go.
The zoo was reportedly going to let the gay penguins keep the baby if the parents did not come looking for it, as per the NBC News report.
However, the story has a happy ending for all involved. After witnessing the drama, the zoo decided to award the same-sex couple an egg from a mother who is unable to care for it, so they’ll become parents soon enough.