Sydney’s Sea Life Aquarium has announced that a DNA test has revealed their gay penguin couple Sphen and Magic are foster dads to a baby girl.
Last October, the penguin duo went viral when aquarium staff announced they were an item and had become inseparable ahead of breeding season.
After the couple practiced with a dummy egg, aquarium staff gave them a foster egg which hatched later that month.
“We’re so excited to finally have a confirmation that Baby Sphengic is a little girl!” Penguin Department Supervisor Tish Hannan said on Friday.
“We’ve started to see her personality shine in the last few weeks, and can confirm she is every bit the diva – or qween – we would only expect her to be.
“As penguin parents share equal responsibility of raising young, building and maintaining the nest, gender roles aren’t defined in penguins.”
Hannan said Baby Sphengic (pictured, right) would be given her own name shortly.
“The team is now putting their thinking caps on to come up with the most appropriate name for our little girl, and will definitely be sharing this with her fans, both locally and around the world, as soon as possible,” she said.
Baby Sphengic is the first sub-Antarctic penguin to be born at the aquarium since the colony arrived in November 2016, and she and her family were profiled this month in the New York Times.
Sphengic recently shed her juvenile feathers and grew her first waterproof plumage and was giving swimming lessons with the help of aquarium staff.
“While she wasn’t always a natural, she’s now perfected the art of swimming,” Hannan said.
“The next step in Baby Sphengic’s development is learning how to feed under water.”