A pair of gay penguins at a zoo in the Netherlands have stolen the nest and eggs of a neighbouring lesbian couple.
The aquatic soap opera unfolded at Amsersfoort’s DierenPark zoo, who said in a Facebook post the two male African penguins have stolen eggs before.
Zookeeper Sander Drost told Dutch News the gay couple is taking turns sitting on the eggs to keep them warm.
However, the eggs are likely unfertilised and will not hatch because they were laid by a lesbian penguin couple.
And according to the zoo, the gay penguins have form. Last November, the two gay penguins took an egg from a straight couple during an “unguarded moment”.
The egg failed to bear a child, and the gay couple have yet to raise a chick together.
Earlier this year, Drost told Dutch media that the two males were “quite dominant” among the zoo’s 17 penguins.
“Every couple in the enclosure has a shelter in the residence, but this couple has appropriated two houses,” he said.
Bijzonder nieuws! 🐧🐧 Het pinguïn-homokoppel van ons park heeft dit jaar een heel nest ingenomen van een lesbisch pinguïnstel. Homoseksualiteit komt vaker voor bij deze vogelsoort. Beide vogels broeden op de eieren, om en om bewaken zij het nest! pic.twitter.com/2oOVolLt05
— DierenParkAmersfoort (@dpamersfoort) October 20, 2020
Other gay penguins have become foster parents
Most penguin species are monogamous for life and typically they only breed once or twice a year. Same-sex penguin pairings are surprisingly common.
The Dutch couple are not the first same-sex penguin couple to have fostered an egg.
A penguin couple in Spain successfully hatched one in August this year.
The two female penguins, Electra and Viola, hatched another couple’s egg at Oceanografic Aquarium in Valencia, Spain.
Closer to home, our own gay penguin couple Sphen and Magic welcomed their first foster baby in 2018.
The Gentoo penguin duo live at Sydney’s Sea Life Aquarium. They went viral that year when staff announced they were inseparable ahead of breeding season.
They built an ice pebble nest together and staff gave them an abandoned egg from another couple to foster.
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