Two male penguins, Sphen and Magic, are stealing hearts again as the same-sex couple just hatched their second egg. Two years ago, the gay penguins at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium were seen trying to hatch a rock so the zookeepers gave them a spare egg instead. Their firstborn is now an adult and this second egg gives them a chance to be fathers again.
A spokesperson for the aquarium told the Star Observer, “If one of our pairs has too many eggs or are not good at looking after their eggs, we will sometimes foster these eggs out to other pairs like Sphen and Magic. We gave Sphen and Magic an egg to incubate as they have proven to be good parents in the past.”
The two dads had their second eggs hatch this month along with other members of the aquariums’ Gentoo penguins. Kerrie Dixon, Sea Life Sydney Aquarium’s Penguin Supervisor released a statement saying, “We are beyond excited to welcome the new penguin chicks to our colony. They are doing really well and gaining weight. They started at around 95 grams, now our oldest is almost 2kg and the youngest is sitting at around 399 grams.”
The spokesperson added that same-sex couples are not uncommon in this specific species of penguin. “Penguins, including Gentoo Penguins, are among the many species in which male-male or female-female pairing occur frequently and we are fortunate to have our own male-male pair – Sphen and Magic – here at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium,” they said in a statement, “Just like our other Gentoo parents, Sphen and Magic are attentive and incredibly caring and we feel privileged to have such an amazing duo in our colony.”
They finish the statement by saying, “Lara is now two years old and surprising us every day with how independent she is. Despite still being relatively young, she attempted to take part in this year’s breeding season. She and her partner set up a nest and carefully watched over it but unfortunately weren’t successful in hatching an offspring. We look forward to seeing how she goes next year and whether she’ll give Sphen and Magic a little grand penguin chick.”