Sydney Aquarium’s Sphen and Magic are officially proud papas.
The two male Gentoo penguins, known collectively as Sphengic, were recently given a foster egg to incubate and raise, after the same-sex couple showed excellent parenting skills with the dummy egg they had been given prior.
On Oct. 19 the couple’s foster egg, which came from an aquarium penguin who had laid two, hatched. The unnamed chick weighed only 91 grams at birth, but is doing well.
The aquarium says that Sphen and Magic’s exceptional co-parenting skills have continued, and that both are doing a great job looking after the chick.
“Baby Sphengic has already stolen our hearts! We love watching the proud parents doting and taking turns caring for their baby chick,” Tish Hannan, Penguin Department Supervisor at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, said in a statement. “With that said, the first 20 days of a penguin chick’s life are the most vulnerable so it is extra important the chick is very happy, healthy and well fed by his parents.”
Once this delicate time is over, the penguins’ keepers will be able to determine the sex of the chick, after which they will start taking name suggestions.
For now, Sphen and Magic are focused on feeding their new arrival up to 10 times a day. After about 5 to 6 weeks, when the chick is larger and has lost some of its baby fluff, it will start getting swimming lessons.
Fans of the “it couple” can see the dads at work at the Sydney Aquarium’s Penguin Expedition exhibit.
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