Silo and Roy two male chinstrap penguins have been living together as husband and husband for the past six years.
Since their relationship began, the pair have successfully hatched and raised an adopted chick, after they tried to incubate a rock.
They also inspired six other gay penguin couples at New York’s Central Park Zoo.
However, when Scrappy, a single female arrived from Sea World Zoo in San Diego.
Silo’s eye went wondering and he moved out of his and Roy’s nest and moved in with Scrappy.
Roy and Silo met at the zoo and they began their relationship in 1998, and although staff never saw them in a sexual act, they were observed conducting other mating rituals typical of their species including entwining their necks and mating calls.
In 1999 the pair were observed trying to hatch a rock as if it were an egg.
They also attempted to steal eggs from other penguin couples.
When the zoo staff realized that Roy and Silo were both male, they tested them further by replacing the rock with a dummy egg made of stone and plaster.
As it was “incubated real well”, it occurred to the zoo keepers to give them the second egg of a mixed-sex penguin couple, a couple which previously had been unable to successfully hatch two eggs at a time.
Roy and Silo incubated the egg for 34 days and spent two and a half months raising the healthy young chick, a female named “Tango”. When she reached breeding age, Tango paired with another female penguin called Tanuzi.
As of 2005, the two had paired for two mating seasons.
Shortly after their story broke in the press, Roy and Silo began to separate after a more aggressive pair of penguins forced them out of their nest.
In 2005, Silo found another partner, a female called Scrappy, which had been brought from SeaWorld Orlando in 2002.
Roy joined a group of unattached male penguins.
As of 2019, Silo is still alive and living in Central Park Zoo. Tango and Roy have been moved to another zoo.
Central Park Zoo’s website states that penguins in captivity can live up to 30 years.
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.