Female penguins Electra and Viola have become parents after adopting a baby penguin.
At the Oceanografic Aquarium in Valencia, Spain, these two female penguins adopted an egg from another couple and incubated it themselves. The gender of the baby penguin is not yet known as a blood test cannot be completed until the penguin is at least six weeks old. UNILADÂ explainsÂ that the coupleâs baby is one of the three chicks âto have been born into the colony of 25 gentoo penguins this breeding seasonâ. However, it is the only one in the aquarium with homosexual parents.
The same-sex couple had begun showing typical penguin behaviours prior to reproduction.
Staff at the aquarium had given a fertile egg to Electra and Viola after they had seen them start to build a nest out of stones. UNILAD has explained that the aquariumâs bird-keeper Carlos Barros has said thatÂ âthey put two eggs each inside, obviously without knowing they were not fertile, so we put one of the eggs from a different couple into their nest so that they could take care of itâ.
Electra and Viola are not the first homosexual couple to raise a baby.
Daily MailÂ reportedÂ that homosexuality is common in penguins and there have been other cases in zoos and aquariums where same-sex couples have raised chicks. Like Electra and Viola, male penguins Skipper and Ping had adopted and raised an egg at Berlin Zoo last year. However, unlike Electra and Violaâs egg, this one had been abandoned by its birth mother. What is more, the penguin seen in the above image had been adopted by two female penguins in Londonâs Sea Life Centre last year and is nowÂ âbeing raised as gender-neutral by its keepersâ.
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