Kent zoo: Gay penguin couple are ‘better parents’ than straight penguins

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A pair of gay penguins who are raising a baby together in a Kent zoo are doing a much better job than their straight counterparts.

Jumbs and Kermit, male Humboldt penguins who live in Wingham Wildlife Park, were given the egg to look after earlier this year when its mother was abandoned by her mate.

It hatched last month, and the zoo says they are one of the best pairs of parents they have seen.

Zoo owner Tony Binskin told KentOnline: “These two have so far proven to be two of the best penguin parents we have had yet.

“Whilst pair bonding often results in no result other than eliminating those two animals from the breeding population of that species, in captivity it can have greatly positive effects.

“We are still very much starting our breeding efforts with this species, (…) but having such good surrogate parents available should we need them is a huge bonus for us.”

The original mother penguin, Isobel, was abandoned by her male partner Hurricane after she had laid the egg.

Biskin’s wife Jackie said Hurricane was a “very inconsiderate partner who is happy to get Isobel pregnant [and then] seems to think that his job is done.”

A statement from the zoo today states: “They are doing very well and we have our fingers crossed that their chick will grow up to join the rest of our group in a couple of months!”

Homosexual pairings among penguin populations are often reported, both in the wild and captivity.

Last month, Ireland gained its first lesbian penguins, when pair Penelope and Missy began to court in the  Kerry Aquarium.

Gay penguin couples in Madrid, Bremerhaven, Toronto and Beijing have previously been used as surrogate parents for abandoned eggs.

In 2005 children’s book ‘And Tango Makes Three’ was released about Roy and Silo, the famous pair of male penguins in New York Zoo who raised an egg together.

The story has topped an index of commonly banned books at least six times.