Gay penguins in Berlin looking after an egg

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thursday, 22 August 2019, 5:28PM
Skipper and Ping are still minding their egg. (Photo / CNN)

After fruitless attempts to hatch stones and fish, a gay penguin couple at a German zoo may finally be able to parent a chick of their own.

Zoo Berlin officials announced that two of its male king penguins, Skipper and Ping, have eagerly adopted an egg. It'll be the pair's first chick, if all goes well.

The couple arrived together from a zoo in Hamburg in April, and their bond was evident as soon as they arrived, zoo spokesman Maximilian Jäger said.

In July, keepers decided to give Skipper and Ping a real crack at parenthood. One of the zoo's female king penguins laid an egg, but because she had never hatched her previous eggs, staff members decided to donate it to the pair, he said.

The couple, who had taken turns nursing rocks and bits of food between their feet and trying to hatch them, were more than willing to oblige.

Staffers aren't sure whether the egg is fertilized, and incubation typically takes about 55 days, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. But if the egg is viable, it'll be the first penguin at the zoo born to two fathers, Jäger said.


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