This same-sex penguin couple is excited to announce that they’re now first-time parents.
Electra and Viola recently welcomed a new family member to their habitat at Spain’s Oceanogràfic València aquarium — a chick they incubated and hatched from an adopted egg.
Aquarium caregivers noticed that Electra and Viola had developed baby fever after observing them building a nest out of stones. In recognition of the penguins’ parental preparedness, the caretakers rewarded them by taking another penguin couple’s fertile egg and giving it to the lesbian partners instead.
The aquarium announced the happy news in an August 17 post, noting that this is a big moment for Oceanogràfic València: “Although same-sex couples are common in more than 450 species,” this is the first time the aquarium has been home to a gay animal family.
Same-sex penguin couples and the species as a whole have become global gay icons for their diverse sexualities.
In November, a pair of homosexual African penguins at the Netherlands’ DierenPark Amersfoort zoo kidnapped an unsuspecting heterosexual penguin couple’s egg to raise as their own.
“Homosexuality is fairly common in penguins, but what makes this couple remarkable is that they have gotten hold of an egg,” said their zookeeper, Marc Belt, at the time. The egg’s original parents, he added, did not appear to be upset by the theft of their unborn baby and had already produced a replacement.
The gay penguin pride movement had a landmark moment last September, when Sea Life London’s same-sex penguin couple Rocky and Marama announced they would be raising their adopted hatchling “genderless.” While many humans have struggled with the concept, penguins inherently understand it. In fact, it is “completely natural for penguins to develop genderless identities” in the wild, according to the aquarium’s general manager, Graham McGrath.
“What makes us really proud at the aquarium is the success of Sea Life London’s gentoo breeding program and the amazing job of same-sex penguins Rocky and Marama who took the chick under their wing and raised it as their own,” McGrath added.
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