An egg heist has caused ripples in the queer penguin community at the Amersfoort Zoo. A lesbian penguin couple has lost its entire nest of eggs to their sticky-fingered neighbours, a gay couple who’s known for making trouble.
This isn’t the first time the gay penguin pair has ruffled feathers. Last year, the same romantically entwined bandits got away with an egg from another penguin family during “an unguarded moment,” according to zoo representatives. The highjacked egg never hatched, leaving the would-be-fathers still chick-less.
Raising the odds
This time, the males upped the ante, swiping every egg from the nest of their female couple counterpart. “So it turns out to be a very determined couple,” says zookeeper Sander Drost.
However, it’s still not looking optimistic for the eager-to-brood male penguins. “It is striking that the gay couple has started brooding on the nest of the lesbian penguins, so we already know that the eggs are not fertilized,” explains Sander.
But the animal caretaker says that the males are cautious with their new stolen treasures. “Maybe one day we will welcome a chick that has been hatched by a gay couple. Who knows, they might succeed next year.”
Not so uncommon
The Amersfoort Zoo announced the “special news” of the egg thievery in a tweet on Tuesday, adding that “homosexuality is more common in this bird species. Both birds nest on the eggs, alternately guarding the nest!”
Bijzonder nieuws! 🐧🐧 Het pinguïn-homokoppel van ons park heeft dit jaar een heel nest ingenomen van een lesbisch pinguïnstel. Homoseksualiteit komt vaker voor bij deze vogelsoort. Beide vogels broeden op de eieren, om en om bewaken zij het nest! pic.twitter.com/2oOVolLt05
— DierenParkAmersfoort (@dpamersfoort) October 20, 2020
Fostering eggs has become commonplace in queer penguin communities at zoos. Zookeepers will often gift unhatched eggs to queer penguin couples when they begin exhibiting signs of desperation, such as building a mock nest out of pebbles.
What do you think of the new drama that’s unfolded among the zoo’s penguins? Let us know in the comments!
Feature Image: Frida Bredesen/Unsplash