Same-Sex Penguin Couple Gets The Chance To Build A Life Together

These guys were supposed to be part of a breeding program, but they weren't about that life.
Actual same-sex penguin couple not pictured.
Actual same-sex penguin couple not pictured.
Digital Zoo via Getty Images

Two male penguins who only have eyes for each other are in a new home where they can be true to themselves.

King penguins Stan and Olli were previously part of a breeding program at the Berlin Zoo, The Local reports. But they weren’t into it.

“We don’t know if they are ‘gay,’” Berlin Zoo spokeswoman Christiane Reiss told The Huffington Post. But she added that they showed interest “only to each other,” never to females.

Since they weren’t particularly useful at breeding, zoo officials decided to move the penguins to Tierpark Hagenbeck, a zoo in Hamburg, where they’ve been living since April 2.

That zoo has experience with same-sex mates. Juan and Carlos, who are Humboldt penguins, also live there, the German Press Agency reports. Juan and Carlos even incubated an artificial egg together, according to the Hamburger Morgenpost. (Though if there was ever an occasion for the penguins to hatch a real egg, anecdotal evidence suggests same-sex penguin pairs make excellent parents.)

Reiss noted that the Berlin Zoo has since acquired new male penguins from zoos in the Netherlands. They hope these penguins are a little more interested in breeding with what she described as the zoo's "lonely females."

New penguins at the Berlin Zoo.
New penguins at the Berlin Zoo.
Berlin Zoo

While we’re happy these same-sex penguin pairs can stay together, it would be even better if the German government were as progressive as the zookeepers. Same-sex marriage is not legal in Germany, and same-sex couples cannot jointly adopt a child.

Before You Go

Animals Of Wuppertal Zoo


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