A gay penguin couple in Australia has started a family after zookeepers at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium decided they were ready to adopt a real egg.
Sphen and Magic became inseparable just before breeding season got underway, swimming and waddling in tandem together inside the Penguin Expedition exhibit, the Daily Telegraph reports.
“[They] are constantly seen waddling around and going for swims together in the Penguin Expedition,” the aquarium said in a statement published on their website on Friday.
Zookeepers noticed that the male Gentoo penguins, collectively known by their “celebrity couple name” Sphengic, wanted to start a family when the pair began hoarding pebbles to build a nest.
Sphen even gifted Magic a special stone, which zookeepers explained is “equivalent to proposing in the love language of penguins.”
Sphen and Magic, however, had no egg.
“To ensure the couple were not excluded from the season, Magic and Sphen were given a dummy egg to allow them to practice incubating and develop their skills,” the aquarium writes.
“They were absolute naturals and displayed great care for their egg, so much so, the team at Sea Life Sydney fostered a real egg to them from another couple who had two,” the aquarium added. “Whilst Sphen is older and is excellent at incubating, Magic is younger and still mastering his skill.”
The aquarium says “love wins” at their penguin expedition.