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Female penguin couple adopt egg together and become new mums

Two penguins have become new mums at an aquarium in Spain after adopting an egg from another couple.

Electra and Viola began building their own nest made of stones together at Oceanographic in Valencia without a male companion.

They displayed the ‘usual attitude’ and motherly instincts expected of penguins prior to raising a chick, so caregivers decided to let them adopt an egg, which hatched this month.

The gentoo penguins are now raising the baby, which will become independent in about 75 days.

The new chick is one of three born so far this breeding season in the aquarium’s colony of 25 gentoos.

Penguin parents typically take turns keeping their eggs warm, which normally take 38 days to hatch.

While same-sex penguin parents is a first for Spain, the aquarium said it is fairly common in the wild across more than 450 species.

Other zoos in London, Berlin, and Sydney have also had same-sex penguin families.


Gentoo penguins are the third-largest species of penguin and can weigh up to eight kilograms.

They breed on many sub-Antarctic islands and their largest populations are found in the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula.

They build their nests on beaches and enthusiastically defend their turf.

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