Two gay African penguins with a history of mischief have carried out a brazen egg-napping at a zoo in the Netherlands, marking the second time the conspiratorial duo have stolen eggs from their neighbors.
But the would-be dads missed one important factor in their latest heist: They snatched the nest of eggs from a lesbian couple, which means they’re most likely unfertilized and will not hatch, Amersfoort Zoo keeper Sander Drost said in a news release.
According to Drost, the “very determined” pair are now taking turns incubating the eggs while the other searches for and collects food. Penguins breed twice a year, and the two females who lost their brood will likely build a new nest shortly, he told DutchNews.nl.
The same two male penguins made headlines last year when they took an egg from a straight couple at an “unguarded moment.” That egg failed to produce a chick, and the other couple laid a new egg.
“Maybe one day we will welcome a chick that has been hatched by a gay couple. Who knows, they might succeed next year,” Drost said.
Penguins typically share parenting responsibilities equally, so the work stays the same regardless of the pairing, as seen in other examples of same-sex penguin couples around the world. Earlier this year, gentoo penguins Electra and Viola welcomed a chick at an aquarium in Spain after successfully adopting, incubating and hatching the egg from another couple.
And in Australia, two male gentoo penguins named Sphen and Magic made international headlines after they became “inseparable” before the 2018 breeding season and began building their own nest. After practicing with a dummy egg, they were eventually given one from a couple that had two, and they successfully hatched a female.