At the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium in Australia, true love has found a way for two penguins: Sphen, a seven-year-old male, and his three-year-old male partner, Magic.
"About three months before breeding season, that's when we started to see signs of bonding," said penguin supervisor Tish Hannan. "That includes bowing to each other and singing to each other."
Before long, Sphen and Magic were exchanging pebbles, and using them to set up housekeeping. "We noticed they started building the most beautiful nest they could possibly make," said Hannan.
Sphen and Magic went on to hatch a baby chick from a penguin egg they'd been given to sit on – a noteworthy event, said Hannan:
"The real special thing about Sphen and Magic is they're one of a handful of same-sex couples that have actually incubated and raised a chick."
The chick is a female, and she's doing just fine … which makes Hannan hopeful for the future:
"So, with Sphen and Magic, we very much expect to see them together again with the best nest in the exhibit for the next breeding season."
For more info:
- Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, Sydney, Australia
Story produced by Aria Shavelson.