Gay Penguins in Zoo Steal Egg in Attempt to Become Dads

A gay penguin couple have stolen an egg in an apparent attempt to become dads.

A pair of gay male African Penguins were discovered nesting an egg alongside heterosexual couples at the DierenPark Zoo Amersfoort in the Netherlands, Out.com reported on Thursday.

"The gay couple are looking after the egg very well and take turns in keeping it warm," zookeeper Marc Belt told DutchNews.nl. "Homosexuality is fairly common in penguins, but what makes this couple remarkable is that they have gotten hold of an egg."

The zoo says the gay couple stole the egg from a heterosexual couple during an "unguarded moment." The heterosexual penguins went on to produce another egg.

Breeding season is currently in full swing and the zoo has already welcomed the season's first penguin chick. They hope the gay couple's egg will also hatch but are not yet certain the egg has been properly fertilized.

Same sex coupling appears to be fairly common among penguins, and in the animal kingdom in general. There have been several instances of same sex pairs adopting eggs at zoos, but they are typically provided by zookeepers rather than stolen by the penguins.

two penguins
Homosexual couples appear to be fairly common among penguins. Getty

In August, two male King Penguins at the Berlin Zoo reportedly adopted an egg after attempting to nest with several different objects including "a wet rock and a slimy fish." After those items predictably failed to hatch, zookeepers provided the pair with a donor egg from a 22-year-old female penguin.

"It is very common that two penguins of the same sex come together. I don't think it is the majority of penguins, but it is not rare either," zoo spokesperson Maximilian Jäger told The New York Times. "We are sure they would be good parents because they were so nice to their stone."

At a zoo in New Zealand, a lesbian penguin couple called Thelma and Louise were given an egg after previously fostering a chick that the bird's birth mother had strugged to take care of.

"They absolutely love having a chick to take care of," said zookeeper Ebony Dwipayana, according to PinkNews. "Obviously they're not able to have their own, so the fact that they can still raise a healthy chick is amazing for them, and is such a beautiful experience to share."

Although homosexual penguins have been known to zoologists for a long time, they have only garnered wider attention in recent years. In the past, there appear to have been at least some efforts to conceal the behavior.

During the failed Scott Antarctic Expedition of 1910-1913, U.K. scientist George Murray Levick was surprised to witness what he described as "constant acts of depravity" by penguins. Levick was apparently so shocked to discover gay penguins that he attempted to contain the spread of the information by writing his report in Greek. When his paper was published, the homosexual behavior was intentionally left out.

Gay Penguins in Zoo Steal Egg in Attempt to Become Dads | News