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Two Gay Male Penguins at Danish Zoo Become Fathers

by Sergio N. Candido
Saturday Nov 24, 2012

Gay parenting is proving to be successful even in the animal world: two King penguins in Denmark have reportedly become the first gay-penguin parents in captivity.

It looks like the gay penguin couple at Odense Zoo had wanted their own chicks for a while. The Star reports the penguins began performing mating rituals on each other for several years now, then they tried to steal other female penguins' eggs, and even sat on dead herring to mimic incubation as a last resource.

Luckily for them, they got their chance at parenting when a female penguin abandoned her eggs.

"In the lifetime monogamy of the King penguin world, this is extraordinary," zookeeper Nina Christensen told The Star. "Now we have an extra egg and this pair that have been standing with fishes."

Christensen said they first tested the gay penguins parenting skills with a ball, until the coupled proved they could take care of an egg.

"With King penguins, they mix it between the male and female. One stands with the egg while the other goes to feed and then they shift. It was the same with this pair-they both incubated the egg," Christensen said.

"The chick hatched about a month ago and the new little family remains separated from the colony while they bond but will soon rejoin them. Penguins recognize their offspring by their distinctive cries, indistinguishable to humans, and this trio are no different."

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  • Oh Jed said:, 2012-11-24 22:04:46

    This is just the neatest thing I’ve read in some time. Kudos to the zoo personnel for allowing this family to do what comes natural for them.

  • , 2012-11-25 16:40:00

    There is a children’s book with a very similar story called Tango.

  • Unbreakable1, 2012-11-25 19:17:01

    This s amazing and heart warming.

  • rscluff, 2012-11-26 20:09:04

    Speaking of that children’s book tango I’m 99 percent sure its based on a real story of two gay penguins in New York Central Park zoo that also got a donated egg and are raising the hatchling "tango"

  • c_c2013, 2012-11-27 01:01:49

    I think nature is trying to tell us humans something here.

  • , 2012-11-28 06:56:46

    That is so sweet :)

  • , 2012-11-28 22:04:41

    These are not the first gay penguin parents -- they’re just the first for this specific species of penguin. Still cool, but not as revolutionary as portrayed. And, um..."last resource"? You presumably mean "last resort"?

  • Oh Jed said:, 2012-11-28 22:57:06


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