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13th Aug 2019

Two gay penguins adopt abandoned egg in Berlin zoo

Jade Hayden

gay penguins

“We just had to put it on the feet of one of the guys, and he already knew what to do.”

Two gay penguins have adopted an abandoned egg in Berlin zoo.

Same-sex couple Skipper and Ping have been caring for the egg since July, after the unborn chick’s mother lost interest.

The pair have been known to take care of and try to hatch stones and fish in the past, actively emulating the actions of a female penguin waiting for her egg to hatch.

Zoo spokesperson Maximilian Jäger told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper that Skipper and Ping are “behaving like model parents, taking turns to keep the egg warm.”

The couple are taking turns taking care of the egg in the warmth of their belly skin above their feet.

Zookeepers have said that the couple must now protect their egg from other jealous egg-less penguins.

“We just had to put it on the feet of one of the guys, and he already knew what to do,” said zookeeper Norbert Zahmel.

“A successful hatching would be great.”

Zookeepers are not entirely sure, however, if Skipper and Ping’s egg is actually fertilised. Berlin zoo hasn’t had a chick since 2002, so both them – and the penguins – are hopeful that is.

This is not the first time that a same-sex penguin couple have decided to try and become parents. 

In 2018, a pair of male penguins stole a chick from its parents at a zoo in Denmark after they were “neglecting” the baby to go for a swim.

According to zookeepers, the gay penguins were “desperate” to become parents for quite some time.

Once the parents returned from their swim a fight ensued.

The gay penguins eventually retreated accepting that the chick was not their to take.

They were later given an abandoned egg of their own.