It’s time to check in with Sydney’s gay penguin couple and their baby


Sydney Gay Penguin Couple sphen magic baby sphengic gentoo gay penguins
Sydney's gay penguin couple with foster baby Sphengic. Photo: Sea Life Aquarium

Fans of Sydney’s world-famous gay penguin dads and their young baby can get an update on the adorable rainbow family this weekend.

Penguin power couple Sphen and Magic and their young foster daughter went viral around the world when aquarium staff announced they were an item.

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The pair captured hearts around the world by caring for and hatching a foster egg at Sea Life Aquarium Sydney.

Now the aquarium will take fans live on the ice with the sub-Antarctic family, sharing an update on their joys and experiences.

“Whether in attraction or via social media, we’re constantly inundated with questions about the Sphengic family,” Penguin Department Supervisor Tish Hannan said.

“So we’re very excited to take Sphengic fans from all around the world behind the scenes at our Macquarie Island-inspired exhibit.”

“Join our entire penguin colony for some morning enrichment activities, before Q&A with our team who are ready to answer all of your burning Sphengic questions.”

The trio will appear in a livestream update on Sea Life Sydney Aquarium’s Facebook page from 9am AEST on Saturday (April 25).

The stream is to coincide with World Penguin Day tomorrow, which coincides with the annual northward migration of penguins.

Hannan hopes the Sphengic family, and the rest of the aquarium’s penguin population, to act as ambassadors for their species and their plight in the wild.

Gay penguins Sphen and Magic fostered and hatched an egg

Male gentoo penguins Sphen and Magic became an inseparable couple during the 2018 breeding season.

They were seen bowing to each other – a common way of showing love – and built an ice pebble nest together for breeding season.

The two and made history by hatching baby Sphengic, the attraction’s first sub-Antarctic penguin chick since the colony joined the Darling Harbour family in 2016.

“[Sphen and Magic] are the ones with the biggest, most beautiful and possibly neatest nest in the entire exhibit,” Hannan said last year.

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“They’re fantastic parents – both very loyal and protective. Baby Sphengic, who turned one on October 19, had an excellent start to life under their care.

“While she’s still a bundle of energy and very loud, she’s matured nicely.”

The baby’s gender was not known for the first months of her life before staff could conduct a DNA test.

Hannan said keepers need to know the sex of their penguins, but gender roles are undefined in penguins.

“Penguin parents share equal responsibility of raising young. So whilst baby Sphengic is a female on paper, that’s where the role ends,” she said.

“She’ll grow up to play both mummy and daddy one day – just like Sphen and Magic.”

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