World-famous gay penguin dads Sphen and Magic have announced to the world that they’re trying for a new baby.
Residents of the Sydney Aquarium, the penguin couple won international attention in 2018 for their adoption of a fertilized egg – graciously provided, of course, by aquarium staff. Together they hatched a chick, named Sphengic in a “Brangelina”-style mash-up of couple’s two names.
Now that Sphengic is a year old, the two are trying for a second child.
Tish Hannan, who supervises the aquarium’s penguin colony, said in a statement:
“They have the neatest and largest nest in the colony and when we noticed that another couple were struggling to incubate two eggs at the same time, we made the decision to foster the second egg to the power couple of the colony.”
She added that Sphengic “had an excellent start to life under their care and while she’s still a bundle of energy and very loud, she’s matured nicely but still quite unsure as to what all the adults are doing this breeding season.”
Aquarium employees decided to give Sphen and Magic a second egg when they noticed the couple making a nest (called a “clutch,” for penguins) right in time for mating season. While it’s uncertain whether the egg is fertilized, the penguins have begun sharing the rotation of keeping it warm.
Penguins are among the most well-documented examples of homosexuality found in the animal kingdom; couples appear to spontaneously mate, bond, take possession of fertilized eggs and rear a chick together. There are dozens of same-sex penguin couples in zoos and aquariums all over the world, many of which have previously made headlines, including Rory and Silo from New York’s Central Park Zoo, who became the subject of the children’s book “And Tango Makes Three.”