Big baby news! That mercifully has nothing to do with the Big Baby, although now you’re thinking about him, heh. Nope, today we bring you a choice piece of penguin baby news: A lesbian penguin couple living in Valencia, Spain, recently adopted an egg, which hatched earlier this month. We’re all very proud.
According to the Oceanogràfic València (the oceanarium where the penguins live), new moms Electra and Violet are an “exceptional pair” of Gentoo penguins. That said, they are not necessarily exceptional as partnered birds, because it’s very common for penguins to be monogamous, and 450 species of animals form same-sex couples, both in captivity and in nature. Electra and Violet are exceptional because they are the first duo at the Oceanogràfic that has been able to “adopt, incubate, and raise an egg from another couple.” Same-sex penguins at other zoos and aquariums — like Sphen and Magic of the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium in Australia — have also hatched adopted eggs and raised the chicks as their own.
Violet and Electra were given an egg after they began exhibiting parenting behavior, such as “building their own nest out of stones,” a translated press release from the Oceanogràfic states. They then took turns incubating the egg, which hatched last week. Here are some more baby pictures, if you’re interested:
And a little video, while we’re here:
According to the Oceanogràfic, penguin eggs typically hatch about 38 days into the incubation process, and babies become independent around day 75, so Electra and Violet still have some babysitting time left before their small charge is ready to wobble around on its own. Enjoy it, ladies!