'Gay penguins' Sphen and Magic set to raise their first chick as they’re given foster egg when Sydney aquarium staff notice they're more than friends

Sphen and Magic have become so inseparable they have been allowed to start a nest with each other in Sea Life, in Sydney, Australia.  

The same-sex couple – collectively known as Sphengic – began forging an intense relationship with each other just before breeding season got underway.

The Gento penguins could be seen waddling in tandem and swimming alongside and were so close it was decided to let them adopt.

But before this they were given antenatal classes.

This entailed the flightless birds being given a dummy egg to allow them to practice incubating and develop their parenting skills.

And by all accounts they seem to be taking to the task like a penguin does to water.

It appears that the pair are naturals, although older and more mature Sphen is more focused on incubating while Magic has taken on the task of warding off other birds from swiping their pebbles which they use for their nests.

Birds of a feather

JUST like some humans, penguins form same sex relationships.

The first mention of this was in 1911 when explorer George Murray Levick spotted male birds coupling up at Cape Adare.

Seemingly scandalised by the sight, the Edwardian scientist described the behaviour as "depraved".

More recently the behaviour has been observed in a number of zoos.

In 2014 Jumbs and Hurricane, two Humboldt penguins at Wingham Wildlife Park in Kent became inseparable and became celebrities in their own right.

They later successfully hatched and reared an egg given to them as surrogate parents after the mum abandoned it halfway through incubation.

Last month a gay penguin couple “kidnapped” a baby last while its parents waddled off for a swim, according to a zookeeper claimed.

Apparently the drama unfolded in a zoo in Denmark when the chick’s mum and dad were having their daily paddle.

Animal keeper Sandie Hedegård Munck told Danish broadcaster DR the male penguin couple at Odense Zoo have been desperate to become parents.

So, she claims when they saw the chick being “neglected” by its parents, they decided to intervene and snatch it in hope of adopting it.



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