Two same-sex penguins getting on in years are enjoying their life in captivity to its fullest, say zookeepers in New Zealand, who gave them an egg to care for. The result: a happy family, and perhaps a lesson for humans who oppose adoption by gay couples.
Thelma and Louise, two female King penguins, are each 24 years old, a rarity in a species with a lifespan of 15 to 20 years, according to PinkNews.
But when another penguin was abandoned by her partner, the minders at Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium in New Zealand decided to find foster parents for her egg.
“King penguins have to incubate that egg on their feet for 55 days,” zookeeper Ebony Dwipayana told the New Zealand Herald. And that requires a partner, who can take long shifts egg-sitting while the other hunts for food.
“They absolutely love having a chick to take care of,” she added.
Obviously they’re not able to have their own, so the fact that they can still raise a healthy chick is amazing for them, and is such a beautiful experience to share.
They’re hardly the first same-sex couple to raise a baby together, but zookeepers say, it’s just natural for them to do so.