Two male penguins named Sphen and Magic are the only same-sex couple at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium. The pair first bonded two years ago, and the zookeepers gave them a spare egg to hatch, after noticing them trying to hatch a rock. At the present, their firstborn named Lara is an adult who’s enjoying her life. However, Sphen and Magic still have the parental instinct within them.
Known as the ‘Power Couple’ of the Aquarium, the two affectionate penguins have now become dads for the second time. According to the Aquarium’s spokesperson, in situations where one of the penguin couples have too many eggs or fail to take care of the eggs, these eggs will be fostered out to other pairs. Sphen and Magic also received an egg because, in the past, they have proven to be ideal parents.
As described by the Aquarium staff, Sphen and Magic are ‘attentive’ and ‘incredibly caring’ parents, which is truly heart-warming.
The Pair Just Got The Exciting News That They Are Becoming Adoptive Parents For The Second Time
In 2018, staff members specializing in penguins easily spotted the blossoming connection between Sphen and Magic. They would always stick to each other, and would even go swimming together. At the beginning of the mating season, they started to gather stones for their love nest, confirming their relationship.
After a while, the staff noticed how the pair was attempting to hatch a rock. Therefore, the zookeepers gave them a dummy egg to test the waters. However, the way the couple handles the egg with the utmost care and affection impressed everybody. After this, the Aquarium staff came to the conclusion that the pair was ready to foster an egg on their own.
This Is Lara, The First-Born Of Sphen And Magic
And The Dads Proudly Welcomed Their Second-Born Recently!
When young penguins reach adulthood, they gradually learn how to make nests and incubate eggs. The Aquarium staff observes who are properly learning. For example, the staff members watch which penguin sits on the nest in the correct position, who take turns with their partner, etc. When Sphen and Magic nested together, the couple showed many positive signs that they would become amazing parents. Therefore, when the staff required a foster couple, Sphen and Magic were an obvious choice.
In the animal kingdom, same-sex courtship and relationships are very common, and around 450 animal species are known to exhibit homosexual behavior. Among penguins, male-male and female-female pairs occur frequently. Instances, where females mate with males before returning to their female partners, are also common.
Either way, penguins have proven themselves to be wonderful parents, and they would nurture their fostered eggs like their own, with utmost love and care. Also, once the eggs hatch, the parents would lovingly feed the chicks, keep them warm, and protect them from potential dangers.
Recently, the couple’s newborn has started to take short trips outside the nest. And Sphen, being the proud and protective dad he is, follows the chick everywhere, providing it with both protection and guidance. Aren’t they too sweet to handle?
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After all the hard work put into raising the chick, Sphen and Magic are currently having a well-deserved break, and the zookeepers are experiencing a lovely bonding time with the chicks. When they grow their adult feathers, the zookeepers will have an interesting and enjoyable time teaching them to swim. After learning these skills, the chicks will be allowed to join the colony full-time.