A female penguin couple have become parents to a newly hatched chick at one of Europe’s largest aquariums.
Penguin “super moms” Electra and Viola adopted, incubated and raised an egg from another couple at Oceanogràfic València in Valencia, Spain, according to a statement on the aquarium’s website. They are one of the aquarium’s three gentoo penguin couples to welcome a chick during the current breeding season.
“Although same-sex couples are common in more than 450 species in both zoos and nature, it’s the first time this has happened in our aquarium,” Oceanogràfic València stated on its Facebook page. “Welcome to the world, little one!”
It all began when penguin caregivers noticed the pair showing signs that they were ready to reproduce, like constructing a nest out of pebbles. After observing this behavior, the aquarium decided to give the couple a fertile egg to raise.
Electra and Viola are not the first same-sex penguin couple to make international headlines over the past few years.
Sphen and Magic, a gay penguin “power couple” at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium in Australia were given a second egg to foster last year after successfully fostering their first in 2018.
At Sea Life Aquarium London, longtime duo Rocky and Marama made headlines last July after adopting a chick, and then the moms made news again in September when their baby became the world’s first “genderless” penguin chick.
And in September 2018, two male penguins at a Denmark zoo nabbed a chick while its mother was swimming. The zoo staff returned the little one to its biological parents soon after, but took heed of the couple’s nurturing affect and found an egg for them to raise.