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Same-Sex Penguins Becoming Proud Parents After Adopting An Egg

Mary-Jane Wiltsher

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Same-Sex Penguins Becoming Proud Parents After Adopting An Egg

Featured Image Credit: Oceanogràfic València Aquarium / Facebook

A couple of broody female penguins have become proud parents after adopting an egg from another penguin couple.

Staff at Oceanogràfic València aquarium in Spain noticed that Gentoo penguins Electra and Viola were showing typical signs of being ready to breed, building a nest out of stones.

When animal carers spotted the pair's parenting instincts, they transferred them a fertile egg from another penguin pair - which has now been successfully adopted and incubated.

The fluffy chick is one of three hatched this breeding season, born into a colony of 25 gentoo penguins.

Electra and Viola showed they were ready to be parents by building a nest out of stones (Credit: Oceanogràfic València Aquarium / Facebook)
Electra and Viola showed they were ready to be parents by building a nest out of stones (Credit: Oceanogràfic València Aquarium / Facebook)

Described by National Geographic as "charismatic waddlers", Gentoo penguins populate the Antarctic Peninsula and its surrounding islands, and are the third largest members of the penguin world at a height of 30 inches.

However, Gentoos can also thrive in ice-free environments such as coastal plains, valleys and cliff faces.

Typically, it takes 75 days from when a penguin chick hatches to become independent.

Expectant penguin parents put a lot of time and care into building their nests and usually lay two eggs, sharing the responsibility of incubating them until they hatch.

The power couple successfully incubated and hatched the adopted egg (Credit: Oceanogràfic València Aquarium / Facebook)
The power couple successfully incubated and hatched the adopted egg (Credit: Oceanogràfic València Aquarium / Facebook)

While Electra and Viola's successful adoption is big news for the aquarium, it's not a first in the penguin world.

In 2018, two male penguin inhabitants at Sydney's Life Aquarium showed similar signs of parental instincts.

Initially, the broody pair - called Sphen and Magic - were given a dummy egg by the animal keepers, which was later swapped for a real egg.

The dynamic duo took it in turns to incubate the egg until it hatched - and the penguin couple made international headlines.


We can't wait to watch Electra and Viola's adoptive chick grow up!

Topics: News, Wildlife, Animals, Nature

Mary-Jane Wiltsher
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