Same Sex Penguin Parents
by Katelyn Twist
Gay penguins have once again proved that love is love. Though it might sound strange, it is more common than one may think. Sphen and Magic, Gentoo penguins of Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, have recently been in the news for their homosexual relationship. In fact, the media has nicknamed their relationship “Sphengic”. The aquarium posted a picture of the two lovebirds on October 11th, in celebration of “national coming out day.” According to Sea Life’s Instagram post, the two became “inseparable” this mating season. On the website, the aquarium states that the pair made a big pebble nest together in preparation for their egg. In order to not exclude them, Sea Life provided them with a fake egg. When “Sphengic” proved that they could handle it, the aquarium gifted them a real egg to adopt. The due date is estimated to be sometime mid-November.
Another famous romantically-involved pair of male penguins is Roy and Silo of Central Park Zoo in New York City. Much like “Sphengic,” these two were reported to be taking part in mating rituals once breeding season came along. On an even more adorable note, Roy and Silo attempted to hatch a rock as if it were an egg. Eventually, they received a foster egg from another penguin couple who was not fit to take care of it. They were able to successfully hatch their baby, Tango. Roy and Silo’s family journey inspired the publication of a book titled And Tango Makes Three. These two sparked the start of the media’s interest in gay penguins.
San Francisco Zoo had their share of penguin pride in 2003. Their resident penguins, Harry and Pepper, showed many of the same characteristics as the birds in Sydney and New york. They began nesting together and eventually were deemed worthy of a real egg. Unfortunately for Pepper, Harry was seduced by a female penguin, Linda, and ultimately ended up leaving his new family for her. As expected, Pepper became furious and attempted to attack Harry, resulting in his own removal from the enclosure. Once he was able to return, both his former lover and his chick were gone. Eventually, he was able to move on with support from citizens across the nation.
One of the most comical instances of same-sex penguin parents occured at Denmark’s Odense Zoo in September of 2018. The two unnamed penguins decided themselves that they were ready to care for a baby. Desperate, they waited until one of the enclosure’s chicks was left alone by its father, and kidnapped it. Of course, this resulted in the chick’s biological parents fighting to get their baby back. This proved to be quite difficult for them, as the homosexual couple had become very protective of their “new child”. The chick was rightfully returned to its original parents by zookeepers. Not to worry, the couple proved their parenting skills and were able to obtain and hatch an egg of their own.