A same-sex couple that have formed an inseparable bond among a Sydney aquarium’s penguin exhibit have captured the hearts of animal lovers worldwide.
According to Sea Life Sydney, gentoo penguins Sphen and Magic became attached before breeding season and “are constantly seen waddling around and going for swims together”.
The couple, who have been given the nickname Sphengic, started to gather pebbles together to make a nest as breeding season approached, as is typical among gentoo parents, who alternate the jobs of incubating eggs and standing guard daily.
Sphen even gave Magic a “special stone” which, according to the aquarium, “is the equivalent to proposing in the love language of penguins”.
The pair were given a dummy egg to “incubate”, to ensure they are not left out and to give them a chance to practise their technique.
And so hot were their incubation skills that keepers decided to give the couple a real egg to foster, taken from another couple who had two.
According to Sea Life Sydney: “Whilst Sphen is older and is excellent at incubating, Magic is younger and still mastering his skill. The pair make a great team.”
Twitter users were absolutely loving the story.
“To ensure the couple were not excluded from the season”
Awwwwwwww 😍💕💕 pic.twitter.com/zV704gUFP5— ✨ NOVY ✨ (@novygram) October 12, 2018
And others remembered previous same-sex penguin couples.
A lovely gay couple at Penguin Island in WA were given an abandoned egg. To everyone's delight it hatched and the chick's dads were loving faultless parents. After many seasons fruitlessly preparing their nest, it was so wonderful they finally got an egg to raise too . . . ❤❤❤— 💧Tansy (@dream_tansy) October 12, 2018
- Press Association