The gay penguins sᴛʀɪᴋᴇ! Again.
A pair of two male African penguins at a Dutch zoo, who made international headlines last year when they stole an egg from a heterosexual couple, have now stolen the nest of a lesbian duo, DierenPark Amsersfoort said in a Facebook post. In November last year, the two gay penguins took an egg from a straight couple who let their guards down, RTC Utrecht reported. The egg failed to bear a child, and the gay couple have yet to raise a chick together.
Zookeeper Sander Drost told Dutch News that the gay couple is taking turns sitting on the eggs to keep them warm. But, Drost said, the eggs are likely unfertilized and will not hatch because they were laid by a lesbian penguin couple.
Earlier this year, Drost told RTC Utrecht that the fathers were quite dominant. “Every couple has a house in the residence, but this couple has appropriated two houses,” he said.
Most penguin species are monogamous for life and typically breed once or twice a year,” said Marlene Zuk, a professor of ecology, evolution and behavior at the University of Minnesota.
Scientists do not know if same-sex behavior in penguins is common because all of the tiny creatures look the same in the wild, but Zuk said it certainly has been observed at zoos.
This isn’t the first time a same-sex couple have nabbed a chick or egg from another duo.
In July last year, same-sex penguin duo Rocky and Marama made headlines after adopting a chick at Sea Life Aquarium London. The new mothers were in the spotlight again a few months later when their 4-month old became the world’s first “genderless” penguin chick.
Another gay penguin couple at a Denmark zoo ᴋɪᴅɴᴀᴘped a chick two years ago while its mother was swimming. The chick was later returned to its biological parents after the heterosexual penguins came looking for their chick.
Zuk believes the same-sex African penguin couple just wanted to raise a family together.
“After all, being a part of a pair and raising a chick is just deeply ingrained in being a penguin,” she said.
“Maybe one day we will welcome a chick that has been hatched by a gay couple. Who knows, they might succeed next year.”