Gay penguin couple raising chick after caring for egg

Sun. February 6, 2022 6:27 PM by Gerald Farinas

humboldt penguins

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Zoo director says it's proof that non-traditional families are natural

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, NY, announced that its now-famous gay Humboldt penguin couple are dads after their adopted egg hatched.

Elmer and Lima, two adult male Humboldt penguins, were given an egg to incubate from another breeding pair, Vente and Poquita, who had a habit of accidentally breaking their eggs.

Elmer, hatched in 2016, and Lima, hatched in 2019, welcomed their new chick when it hatched on January 1.

"The two males paired up this past fall for the current breeding season, built a nest and defended their territory," the zoo said in a statement. "So the penguin team decided to test their fostering capabilities."

Zoo Director Ted Fox said not all penguin pairs are good at incubating eggs.

"It takes practice," he said.

Fox said same-sex penguin pairs show that the idea of family is not species-specific and that in many cases, non-traditional families do a wonderful job of child-rearing.