Four gay penguins couple up at London aquarium for mating season

Two same-sex penguin couples have formed at a London aquarium just in time for it to reopen next week.

The Gentoo penguins at the Sea Life London Aquarium on the South Bank are currently pairing up ready for their annual mating season.

And when the aquarium opens its doors to visitors again on Monday, people should be able to witness the animals performing their mating rituals.

Among them are two all-female couples – Marmalade and Chickpea, and Marama and Rocky.

General manager Catherine Pritchard said: ‘Without a doubt, our Gentoo penguins are one of our most loved creatures and we’re so pleased that we’re able to reopen our doors in time for guests to be able to witness their amazing courtship rituals.

‘Gentoo penguins are the ultimate romantics, and their dating techniques are truly unique – so much so that as humans, we could certainly learn a thing or two from their passion and commitment to finding a mate.

‘As well as our male-female penguin couples, this breeding season we also have two female same-sex couples who are also going through their nesting rituals.’

Mating rituals among the penguins involve one of the pair, usually a male, gifting a pebble to a potential mate.

The pebbles are then used in building nests for any eggs that are laid.

The birds at the aquarium are closely monitored during mating season, with staff checking their nesting progress and regularly weighing the birds.

‘Our expert care team are monitoring the penguins’ progress and we’re hoping that we’re lucky enough to add a new chick to the colony when we welcome guests back,’ Catherine added.

Same-sex penguin couples are relatively common, and they sometimes adopt eggs which are abandoned by other couples.

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