Photo of the Day: Meet the gay Berlin penguins who've adopted an egg
A same-sex penguin couple are caring for an abandoned egg in Berlin's zoo.
King penguins Skipper and Ping have been looking after the egg since July, German media reported on Friday.
According to staff at the Berlin zoo, the couple have been desperate to have a chick of their own for a while, and have even tried "to hatch fish and stones" in their bid to become parents.
Zoo spokesman Maximilian Jäger said the couple are "behaving like model parents" and "taking turns to keep the egg warm" by nesting it on their feet under their belly skin.
The pair were given the egg to look after because the female penguin in the group hadn't shown much interest. They've now been carefully protecting and guarding the egg from any dangers.
However, it's not known if the egg has been fertilized. If they are lucky then a new chick will join the family after about 55 days.
Ein männliches Pinguinpärchen im @zooberlin brütet rührend ein Ei aus. Sie wechseln sich beim Brüten ab und verteidigen das Ei gegen Artgenossen. Papas in spe? https://t.co/E3kbE2OIZQ pic.twitter.com/RWI79KQ9Jb— Berliner Zeitung (@berlinerzeitung) August 9, 2019
Skipper and Ping, who are both 10-years-old, moved to Berlin from Hamburg's Hagenbeck Zoo in April, and have been inseparable ever since.
Many people have welcomed the news like this Twitter user who wished the penguins good luck.
Gay penguins of either sex are not unusual, and can be found in the wild and in captivity.
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"Same sex penguin pairs also exist in natural habitats," said Jäger.