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Spain

‘Gay’ penguin couple delighted over opportunity to be parents

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

MADRID — A same-sex aquatic bird couple in Spain has been allowed to adopt an egg to nurture.

Inca and Rayas, a pair of Gentoo penguins at Madrid’s Faunia Park Zoo, have suffered from repeated heartache for a long time according to zookeeper Yolanda Martin. The pair had carefully built and lovingly looked after six nests, but sadly, those nests remained empty.

Courtesy Faunia Park Zoo

Inca sitting on his egg while Rayas keeps watch.

Martin noted that Inca and Rayas had longingly watched the other penguin couples welcome their little chicks into the world, and finally, after zookeepers took pity on them, the presumed gay birds now appear delighted to finally have been given the chance to enjoy “parenthood.”

According to Martin, Inca has taken on the “female” role of incubating the donated egg (that is due to hatch in June), and sits loyally on his child to be, while even turning down the chance to get his feathers wet with a refreshing swim.

Meanwhile, his “husband” Rayas keeps a watchful eye on their nest and chases off any potential predators or gawkers.

“We wanted them to have something to stay together for — so we got an egg. Otherwise they might have become depressed,” said Martin.

Inca and Rayas aren’t the first gay penguins to be given a helping hand by zookeepers. Time magazine reported last December on another gay penguin couple.

The zookeepers at Harbin Polar Land Zoo in northern China embraced their eccentric penguins by not only giving them a same-sex wedding ceremony but also providing them with their very own baby chick to care for.

The pair, named Adam and Steve had a history of stealing eggs from the “straight” couples during hatching season, so when keepers noticed that a mother of recently hatched twins was struggling with her parenting duties, they decided to give Adam and Steve the baby they were looking for, according to Time.

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Filed under: Europe

27 more reader comments:

  1. This is like a Parks and Rec episode!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:08pm
  2. LOL awwwwwww

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:08pm
  3. Wow! Really? Ohhh so cute :))) amazing! Super luv it!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:08pm
  4. omg thats too precious!!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:08pm
  5. This was also done in the New York zoo. They made a kids book about it. Look up And Tango Makes Three

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:10pm
  6. is this the couple leslie knope married?

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:10pm
  7. Oh no! We’re going to have to suffer another damn movie about a dancing penguin!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:10pm
  8. pair of sweeties! <3 <3

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:14pm
  9. Awesome!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:16pm
  10. Wonderul <3

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:16pm
  11. Aww this made my night :)

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:22pm
  12. That’s chill the couple in the new york zoo they separated them :(

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:25pm
  13. That’s adorable :)

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:28pm
  14. adam and steve? love it :)

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:30pm
  15. They are going to have the most FAAAABULOUS nest on the block, sweeeties!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:45pm
  16. This is really cute and sweet… But the writer needs to get their facts straight. Male penguins are the ones that sit on the egg until it hatches.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:46pm
  17. & that is NATURE!!! :) LOVE IT!!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:46pm
  18. Awww I’m gay and love penquins! ((:

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:53pm
  19. Yay!!! Gay Rights for penquins!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:59pm
  20. This is just too cute. (:

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 9:07pm
  21. Even penguins are ahead of us in acceptance!!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 9:43pm
  22. those gentlemen are adorable.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 10:12pm
  23. This breed of Penguins share incubation and change duties daily.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 10:49pm
  24. Penguins are my FAVORITE animals!! Words can’t express how happy this makes me :D

    Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 11:19pm
  25. not like the Toronto Zoo where they split the two fellas up to mate with the females, a very unaccepting and heartless treatment of a love meant to be.
    Bravo for Spain and their compassion for this adorable penquin couple. They may live in captivity but the zoo is going above and beyond to make sure their lives are fulfilled. I hope it’s twins!!

    Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 4:43am
  26. They better not move to N.C.

    Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 5:11am
  27. As amazing as this sounds, I don’t see anything gay about this. I really don’t. This seems more like a survival kind of scenario to me. A mother who, alone can’t properly care for her chick, will have MUCH better chances of raising a healthy chick with not one, but two surrogate fathers. That seems like a sound paternal/survival strategy to me.

    Even then, that’s still just, ridiculously cute. Cute things always beat out cold logic for me in the end, I guess.

    Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 6:57am