Gay penguin 'power couple' Sphen and Magic become dads for a second time after adopting another abandoned eggNovember 24, 2020
A GAY penguin "power couple" have become dads for a second time after adopting another abandoned egg.
Sphen and Magic hit the headlines in 2018 when they successfully incubated and hatched a chick, named Lara, after becoming inseparable at the Sea Life Aquarium in Sydney, Australia.
The same-sex couple – collectively known as Sphengic – began forging an intense relationship with each other just before breeding season got underway.
After proving themselves to be "incredibly caring" parents, the Gentoo penguins were paired up for another breeding season and given another egg to hatch this year.
"Our famous gay couple Sphen and Magic have another chick this year and we're really excited – it's doing really, really well," Kerrie Dixon, Sea Life Sydney Aquarium Penguin Supervisor, said.
All the new babies have hatched in the aquarium over the last month with the oldest arriving mid-October, while the youngest’s birth certificate currently reads "two weeks young".
A spokesperson for the aquarium told the Star Observer: "If one of our pairs has too many eggs or are not good at looking after their eggs we will sometimes foster these eggs out to other pairs like Sphen and Magic.
"We gave Sphen and Magic an egg to incubate as they have proven to be good parents in the past.
"Just like our other Gentoo parents, Sphen and Magic are attentive and incredibly caring and we feel privileged to have such an amazing duo in our colony."
Back in 2018, Sphen and Magic were given a dummy egg to ensure the couple were not excluded from the breeding season, and to allow them to practice incubating.
The team said they were "absolute naturals and displayed great care for their egg" and allowed them to foster a real egg from another couple who had two.
The aquarium said Sphen and Magic's first baby, Lara, is now "a bright penguin who took part in this year’s breeding season by learning to build a nest and incubate eggs".
“Lara is now two years old and surprising us everyday with how independent she is," the spokesperson said.
"Despite still being relatively young, she attempted to take part in this year’s breeding season. She and her partner set up a nest and carefully watched over it but unfortunately weren’t successful in hatching an offspring.
"We look forward to seeing how she goes next year and whether she’ll give Sphen and Magic a little grand penguin chick.”
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