A pair of male penguins in a Dutch zoo were so keen on offspring that they stole an egg from another pair of penguins.
Two male black-footed penguins (Spheniscus demersus, also known as African penguins) at the DierenPark Amersfoort Zoo in the Netherlands was recently found to incubate a purloined egg. Their nest – which contained the stolen egg – lay near a nest belonging to a male and female penguin couple, zoo's representative said in a statement.
The Hatch season was already started for the zoo's penguin community, and the males probably hit the egg from their breeding neighbors during "an unattended moment," according to the statement.
Some chickens in the zoo's penguin breed have already hatched, and the keepers are keeping a close eye on the male couple, who turn to each other to warm their bad egg, DutchNews reported. But there is a chance that the couple's dreams of parenting may soon be dashed, as the stolen egg may not have been fertilized, according to DutchNews.
Before the Dutch penguins' egg-fast discoveries, other penguins of the same sex have managed to enter the hearts around the world. Roy and Silo, male split penguins (Pygoscelis antarcticus) who lived at Central Park Zoo in New York City, was a partner for six years; Skip and Ping, male king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus), consciously linked to Zoo Berlin; and Sphen and magic, young male gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua), found love in the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium in Australia.
All three pairs of the same sex gave birth to eggs; Silo and Roy hatched their bride in 2004, while Sphen and Magic's bride – "Baby Sphengic" – hatched on October 19, 2018, the aquarium announced on Twitter. But poor Skip and Ping remain childless: Despite their attention, "undistributed eggs" burst open on September 2, the German news site The Local reported.
Penguins are not the only birds that form gay relationships. More than 130 bird species are known for gay behavior, which can include complex legal rituals, sexual contact and even nesting together for several years, Live Science previously reported.
Originally published it Live science.