At the Oceanografic Park and Aquarium in Valencia, Spain, there is a same-sex couple of female penguins who have created their own little family after they adopted an egg – which finally hatched this week.
The institute posted the wonderful news in a wonderful Facebook post. In the message, they called Electra and Viola “super moms” who had successfully hatched the adopted egg, resulting in their first chick.
Same-sex couples are quite common in more than 450 animals species – both within nature as well as zoos – but both Electra and Viola are the first couple that they’ve had the the Oceanogràfic València. The institute’s website wrote that the couple was first discovered when the staff realized Electra and Viola were building a nest together with stones. Given that they needed a little fertilization help as a same-sex couple, the zookeepers gave the female couple a fertilized egg from another penguin couple.
While the exciting news was revealed, there is still no telling what the baby chick’s gender is. They will be given blood tests to figure out their gender, but this can’t be done until the chick hits six-weeks-old.
The little chick is still unnamed. But it is one of three new baby chicks born to the colony of 25 gentoo penguins. The zoo made the announcement that the new baby chicks were both to the couples, Navi and Aquela and Bolo and Melibe.
As National Geographic reports, the gentoo penguins are known to “form long-lasting bonds” with one another. They are also quite “nurturing” penguins.
According to the zoo’s post, during breeding season the two penguin parents are known to work together to build a round nest that they construct out of stones, grass, moss, and feathers. Once the nest is complete, the mother will lay two white eggs. Then, the two parents will take turns incubating the eggs until they hatch. Once born, the baby chicks will remain in their nest for as long as a month while the parents share in the responsibilities of foraging and brooding.
So far, it seems like both Electra and Viola are living up to their “super mom” status – and we’re confident they will continue to nail it! Congrats to these two moms.
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.