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Same-sex penguin couple fails to hatch egg in Berlin

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Same-sex penguin couple fails to hatch egg in Berlin
Skipper and Ping in Berlin zoo. Photo: DPA
09:17 CEST+02:00
Berlin zoo’s star couple, Skipper and Ping, are desperate to start a family. But they had some sad news this week.

The two male emperor penguins had adopted an egg in their quest to have a little one of their own. 

But Berlin Zoo said Thursday that the egg “burst open” on September 2nd and it had not been fertilized.

Staff at Berlin Zoo had given the amorous couple an egg, which they swiftly began to incubate in August, as The Local reported.

The egg came from another pair who in recent years "have not got along 100 percent and who have therefore often damaged their eggs", said zookeepers Norbert Zahmel.

Skipper and Ping, both 10-years-old, were an "excellent" choice to become adoptive parents, he had added.

They had even tried in the past to hatch a stone in their bid to become parents.

But staff are hopeful they will get a chick of their own.  A spokesman told The Local: "Even though Skipper and Ping did not have any luck with this year's breed, they will surely get the opportunity to become parents again in the future."

The pair moved to Berlin from Hamburg's Hagenbeck Zoo in April, and have been inseparable ever since.

Gay penguins of either sex are not unusual, and can be found in the wild and in captivity.

New arrivals

The news came after the zoo welcomed panda twins. Meng Meng gave birth to two gorgeous cubs on Saturday.

"Meng Meng and her two offspring coped well with the birth and are in good health,” said Zoo director Andreas Knieriem on Monday.

READ ALSO: Berlin panda Meng Meng gives birth to twins

The newborn pandas. Photo: DPA

The first boy was born shortly before 7pm on Saturday. Almost an hour later the second followed.

The new panda mother and the offspring's father Jiao Qing have been living in Berlin Zoo since summer 2017. They are both on loan from a reserve in Chengdu, China.

 
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