In 2018, employees at Sydney’s Sea Life Aquarium noticed something fairly rare among their Gentoo penguin population – a mating ritual between two male penguins. Sphen made the first move, presenting Magic with a pebble, and the rest is history.
The pair even created a stone nest during their first mating season together, and have amassed more stones than any other couple in the facility.
The penguins were given a “dummy egg” by staff to see how they would do caring for a potential young one, and after witnessing the hopeful daddies-to-be doting on the egg, they were presented a real egg to foster when another pair was struggling to care for two at once.
They hatched a small female, Lara, and cared for her perfectly until she was grown and out of the nest.
Which is why, this season, they were gifted with another abandoned egg in need of parents – and they two just just as well the second time around.
The aquarium shared a statement:
“We are excited to announce that after a successful breeding season for our colony of Gentoo penguins, we have welcomed some adorable new penguin chicks. Plus, our famous same sex power couple, Sphen and magic, have become second time dads!”
Their chick is a few weeks old now and thriving in the care of its doting fathers.
“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 them an egg to incubate as they have proven to be good parents in the past.”
Of course they have!
People online are, of course, loving it.
Because obviously, congratulations are in order.
And they are, indeed, icons of the captive penguins of the world.
Some might make the argument that this means gay penguins are excellent at being parents. Imagine that!
We can all use living examples of #loveislove, don’t you think?
This is just the feel good story I needed right now, y’all, I swear.
How big did this story make you smile? Confessions in the comments!