Female penguins Electra and Viola go everywhere together at their aquarium home in Valencia, Spain.
When the couple started to build a nest together keepers at Oceanografic Aquarium decided to give them their own egg to raise.
Now for the first time ever at the aquarium, said to be the biggest in Europe, the same sex parents have welcomed their chick and are enjoying being attentive parents.
The chick – whose gender hasn’t been determined as yet – was one of three chicks born at The Oceanographic, which is the largest complex of its type and is home to 45,000 animals from 500 different species—including sharks, penguins, dolphins, sea lions, and whales.
The aquarium’s bird-keeper Carlos Barros said parents Electra and Viola were “exceptional parents” adding the chicks were born into a colony of 25 gentoo penguins, the world’s third largest species of penguins.
Carlos added: “They put two eggs each inside obviously without knowing they were not fertile, so we put one of the eggs from a different couple into their nest so that they could take care of it.”
Announcing the good news in a Facebook post the Oceanografic Park and Aquarium wrote: “Electra and Viola, two female penguins from Oceanogràfic València have hatched another couple’s egg and now they have their first calf .
“Although same-sex couples formation is common in more than 450 species in both zoos and nature, this is the first time this has happened in our aquarium “
The incubation period of a penguin can be anything between 32 to 68 days and is carried out by mom and dad who take it in turns to sit on the egg, or in this case mom and mom. The chicks then stay with their parents until they are strong enough to leave the nest, which can take between 55 to 100 days.
According to National Geographic, gentoo penguins “often form long-lasting bonds” and “are highly nurturing.”
Congratulations Electra and Viola! I wish you all the happiness raising your new baby.