Gay Penguins Become Dads in Denmark

A same-sex pair of King penguins is raising a chick of their own.
Ard Joungsma / Odense Zoo

A pair of male King penguins got an early holiday gift at the Odense Zoo in Denmark: their very own chick.

Zookeepers noticed that the two males, who became a couple about a year ago, would try to steal eggs belonging to other penguin couples, since they didn’t have one of their own. They even attempted to incubate a fish, reported the Toronto Star.

“The keepers realized they seriously wanted to stay with an egg,” zoologist Nina Christensen told the Star.

So when a female penguin at the zoo abandoned her egg, the keepers decided to give the guys a chance. The pair’s chick hatched about a month ago, and now the family is spending its time bonding.

The zoo says this is the first pair of gay adoptive King penguin dads to raise a chick in captivity. They’re following in the footsteps of a famed pair of male Chinstrap penguins who raised a chick together at the Central Park Zoo in New York. They became the subject of a children’s book called And Tango Makes Three.

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