On October 19th, 2018, two loving (and lovable) male Gentoo penguins named Sphen and Magic at the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium in Australia were blessed with the hatching of their chick, and they couldn't be prouder penguin papas! The pairing "Sphengic" is Australia's first same-sex penguin couple and can't wait to spend their lives caring for a child of their own to raise.
According to Bil Browning's article that details the news of their special delivery, the pair were inseparable since Magic gave Sphen a special heart-shaped stone, which, in the "love language of penguins," as described by the zookeepers, meant that Magic wanted to take things to the next level with Sphen.
Since the proposal, Sphengic were soon building a nest out of pebbles in preparation for the arrival of their child from the egg given to them by the aquarium to incubate. Five weeks later, their dream of starting a family together had come true!
While the penguin chick's gender will be determined via a blood test at a later date, the two fathers had been lucky to have a healthy baby to raise as their own. Browning says that Gentoo penguins usually have enough resources to care for only one of the two eggs they lay, so the aquarium decided to give the "extra" egg to this special couple with high hopes that they would be great parents.
And they were right!
It was love at first sight for the proud papas. The younger of the two dads had done a great job in caring for the chick, especially when it came to feeding time. While the older dad wasn't initially enthused with the parenting duties, he grew into his parenting role in no time and had done amazingly with the chick as well.
There is no doubt that Sphengic is the same-sex power couple that we can't help but root for, as the Gentoo penguin partners take on their new life of parenthood for their special little chick!