Just a week after London Sea Life celebrated their newest gay penguin couple, new parents Marama and Rocky welcomed a tiny penguin chick this morning.
Same-sex penguin pair, Marama and Rocky have been together for over five years and according to zoo manager Graham McGrath, the duo have “taken to becoming parents like ducks to water – or should I say penguins”.
Born as part of the zoo’s new conservation program, the baby chick, whose name and gender have not yet been revealed, joins the happy mothers as the second Gentoo chick born there this year, weighing just 82 grams.
Apparently, the new moms have already worked out a schedule, sleeping in shifts in order to give the other parent room to fish and swim. McGrath has also noticed that Marama, the older penguin, seems naturally more protective of her youngster while Rocky, who is a bit wilder and more free-spirited, can’t wait to teach her baby all about life as a penguin.
The new parents were obviously very excited for their little arrival as it was reported they had built the newest and biggest nest within their enclosure, expanding their space to make room for the baby. This echoes their elder gay neighbours, Humbolt Penguins Ronnie and Reggie who famously adopted their own chick Kyton in 2014.
Ronnie and Reggie are still living in the limelight. This past week, as part of Pride celebrations at the London Zoo, the couple were photographed next to a sign from the Stonewall charity that read ‘Some Penguins Are Gay, Get Over It’. The celebrity couple currently live alongside 91 other penguins at the zoo, including fellow same-sex couples Nadja and Zimmer and Dev and Martin.
Gay penguin couples have become somewhat of a phenomenon in the animal kingdom, with pairs like Roy and Silo at the New York City Central Park Zoo, drawing fame as far back as 1998 and Ireland’s first-ever lesbian pairing, Penelope and Missy, observed in Dingle in 2014. In May of this year, it was revealed that half of the penguins at Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium are in same-sex couplings.
More than 1,500 animal species are known to practice homosexuality, and knowing that penguins mate for life, it’s sure that this trio is in for a happy future together.
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