Gay Penguin Couple Adopt Egg To Parent Chick Of Their Own
Two loved-up male king penguins have been given their chance at parenthood, adopting an egg together.
Skipper and Ping moved to Berlin Zoo together in April, and are said to have been inseparable since their arrival.
Now, they've eagerly adopted an egg that is hoped to become the pairs first chick.
The egg was laid by the sole female of a group of six penguins, but after she showed little to no interest in hatching it, keepers decided to handball duties to Skipper and Ping.
The 10-year-olds were more than ready for the task.
"Several times they have tried to hatch a stone. Even fish," animal keeper Norbert Zahmel told local newspaper Berliner Zeitung.
"We just had to put it on the feet of one of the guys, and he already knew what to do".
He said the pair were taking turns warming the egg by nestling it on their feet under a flap of belly skin.
It's the first time the zoo has tried to hatch an egg with a same-sex couple, and if successful, the zoo will welcome its first chick in 17 years in September.
But it is not all smooth sailing, as Zahmel admits he doesn't know for certain if the egg is actually fertilised.
Skipper and Ping are among a number of same-sex couples in the penguin world and if successful, they'll join a growing line of dads raising hatchlings.
Sphen and Magic welcomed their newborn at Sydney's Sea Life Aquarium just last year.
The aquarium confirmed in January that dads and daughter were doing very well.
Over in the U.K., Ronnie and Reggie had a chick called Kyton who stayed with them until it was time he left the nest
The pair celebrated their love with a banner that read: "some penguins are gay, get over it".
"They remain as strong as ever and are often found snuggled up in their nest box together," London Zoo officials said in a statement in 2015.
In 1998, Silo and Roy found love at Central Park Zoo in New York, raising and hatching a chick named Tango, and inspiring an award-winning children's book.