Same-sex penguin couple at Berlin zoo adopt abandoned egg
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A same-sex couple of male penguins at the Berlin Zoo have adopted an abandoned egg and have been caring for it since July, the BBC reported.

The penguins, Skipper and Ping, adopted the egg after it was abandoned by the only female penguin in the group of six king penguins at the zoo, zookeeper Norbert Zahmel told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper. She has not shown interest in her eggs recently, and there has not been a chick born at the zoo since 2002.

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“A successful hatching would be great,” Zahmel told the local media outlet. 

The pair has been known to try to hatch fish and stones before, zoo spokesman Maximilian Jäger told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper. They are “behaving like model parents, taking turns to keep the egg warm” by nesting it on their feet under a flap of belly skin, Jäger said.

But Jäger added that the zoo is not certain if the egg was fertilized. If it was, the chick could be born in early September.

Zahmel said the zookeepers decided to put the egg on the feet of one penguin, and “he already knew what to do.” The couple has reportedly even protected the egg from rival penguins, according to the BBC.

The 10-year-old penguins moved to Berlin from a zoo in Hamburg, Germany, in April, and they have been together ever since. Gay penguins are often found in captivity and the wild, according to the BBC. 

This is not the first milestone for gay penguins this year. In July, the London Zoo held a Pride celebration for its same-sex penguin couples. Of the 93 Humboldt penguins at the zoo in the United Kingdom, they host three same-sex couples.