Gay Penguins Finally Lay An Egg

It seems all the world loves a good “gay” penguin story and this tale of penguin bromance is no exception. But, this heartwarming story has a slightly different twist than your usual gay penguin fare.  The Penguin Post has learned that after six years of being together this pair of wannabe penguin dads, are actually going to be dads!  Their instinctive wish to have a family after a half dozen years of building nests for naught has finally come true after keepers at their home in Madrid’s Fainia Zoo in Spain made a very special delivery of an egg to the stone, grass and moss nursery nest the penguins had carefully prepared.  The unique male Gentoo penguins called Inca and Rayas have reportedly welcomed their future offspring into their home with open wings.  Like clockwork, every spring since 2006 the pair have carefully constructed a nest together in preparation for their new addition, but as they were both male penguins an egg obviously never appeared. So sadly year after year they were forced to watch from the sidelines as other mating couples doted on their new additions.  So when zookeepers needed to find a home for an extra egg this year they decided to give desperate dads their shot at fatherhood.  And the delight of the keepers and Inca and Rayas the penguins natural paternal instincts kicked in straight away.  Inca is carrying out the traditional ‘female’ duty of keeping the egg warm by sitting on it. Partner Rayas is standing guard over the nest, gobbling down fish to be regurgitated at a later date to feed the new hungry mouth. The imminent arrival of the baby penguin next month has, according to keepers, put Rayas a little on edge, but what couple (human or penguin) hasn’t experienced this?  It also seems to have had the desired effect of keeping the relationship alive between the penguins.  Yolanda Martin, who looks after the penguins at Faunia Park,  emphasized that the penguins are not gay, just very good friends that have formed a strong bond. She said: ‘We wanted them to have something to stay together for – so we got an egg.  Otherwise they might have become depressed.’  Twitter users have been flocking to congratulate the pair and the heart-warming story has provided a welcome break from the economic doom and gloom filling the recent Spanish news pages.  It is not the first time that a pair of male penguins has been given an egg to look after. Last year in China two male penguins called Adam and Steve were given a young chick to care for because its mother was struggling to juggle caring for three chicks. Adam was even dressed in a tie and Steve a red blouse for a marriage ceremony. There was also Roy and Silo at New York’s Central Park zoo who were given a rejected egg after trying to hatch a stone. Meanwhile Canadian penguins Buddy and Pedro were put in separate enclosures at Toronto Zoo because keepers felt they were not making a contribution to the gene pool.  It seems all the world’s press love reporting about “gay” penguins and this is no exception, although in these cases the penguins are not actually gay.  They’re more like the best of friends, living cooperatively because they’re in the same enclosure. “When you put things in captivity, odd things happen,” says Kevin McGowan of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology in Ithaca, N.Y. “The way penguins work is they do get paired for a long time. Basically, the only other penguin they care about is their mate, so it’s important for them to find somebody who’s compatible, and if you don’t have a normal upbringing then it’s difficult to say how ‘normal’ they can be.” In the case of Inca and Rayas the duo has enthusiastically taken to the roles of prospective parents. Inca has taken on the “female” role, spending his days devotedly sitting on the egg, according to the paper. Rayas has taken the “male” role, guarding the nest and storing food in his beak as he prepares to feed the chick with regurgitated fish. “In birds, it doesn’t matter what sex you are. Both sexes are perfectly capable and absolutely necessary to raise a penguin bird,” McGowan said. “It’s not like mammals where only one sex can feed.”  So, good luck Inca and Rayas, we can’t wait till the hatching.

Inca and Rayas looking for the perfect stones for their nest.

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2 Responses to “Gay Penguins Finally Lay An Egg”

  1. Danielle Says:

    Reblogged this on enchantedbybooks and commented:
    Love it!

  2. Tay Says:

    Cute. But just a correction: Generally the MALE sits on the egg and the FEMALE regurgitates the food (according to what I remember from March of the Penguins, Planet Earth, and Happy Feet).

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