A pair of male king penguins at Berlin Zoo are getting ready to become parents after adopting and incubating an egg.
Ten-year-old penguins Skipper and Ping (pictured) came to the zoo from Hamburg in April.
The pair had been showing clear parental instincts for a while, staff said. The two penguins had previously tried to hatch stones and even fish.
Skipper and Ping’s chance with the real thing came last month when a female penguin at the zoo abandoned one of her eggs.
Zoo staff said the pair jumped at the chance.
“The two male penguins are acting like model parents, taking turns to warm the egg,” Berlin Zoo’s Maximilian Jaeger told Berliner Zeitung.
“We’re not sure if the egg has been fertilised. If it has been, it should hatch in about 55 days.”
In the wild, king penguin couples share incubation duties.
Gay penguin couples in zoos around the world
It’s not unusual for male penguin couples to form relationships. Several zoos around the world have given their own gay penguin couples abandoned eggs to hatch and raise.
Last month, staff at London Zoo announced they were holding a pride parade for their own gay penguins, Ronnie and Reggie.
The pair partnered up in 2014 and a year later hatched an egg and raised baby chick Kyton.
And in Sydney, gay penguin couple Sphen and Magic welcomed their first foster baby, a girl, last October.
Gentoo penguin duo Sphen and Magic went viral when staff at Sydney’s Sea Life Aquarium announced they were an item and had become inseparable ahead of breeding season.
After the couple practiced incubating with a dummy egg, aquarium staff gave a foster egg from a female penguin who had two.
The aquarium said gentoo penguins usually only have enough resources to successfully raise one of their two eggs.
The biological couple’s egg to Sphen and Magic will likely have saved the chick’s life.
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