Gay penguin couple’s will-they-won’t-they relationship takes dramatic new twist
Romance is finally alive once more after gay penguins in Melbourne, Klaus and Jones, got back together to start building a nest.
The gay Gentoo penguin couple started cosying up to one another once again at Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium as the species’ annual mating season began.
Speaking to Star Observer, bird manager Sarina Walsh said the nesting season always proves to be “an exciting time” for both penguins and onlookers.
“During this period, we see some really interesting behaviour from the penguins as they work hard to build the most impressive nest in the colony in order to attract a mate.”
Both Klaus and Jones have been on and off together for around three or four years, making them the cutest ‘will they, won’t they’ relationship in the world.
The two began building nests together in 2021 during last year’s mating season. Despite their nest not being quite fit for purpose, the two took a real shine to one another.
According to keeper Emily Thornton, the two built their nest “in the wrong area”, but are already improving their skills in 2022.
If they prove to pull off the ideal nest, Klaus and Jones will be given a ‘dummy egg’ that will serve as a practice run for their future as parents.
“This year, for the first time, they’ve actually put [their nest] in the nesting platform area, which is really exciting,” Thornton explained.
“They are a couple that we’re hoping one day might actually be foster parents.”
Gay penguins are everywhere
While same-sex pairings in the animal kingdom are completely common and natural, penguins are believed to display same-sex pairings far more than other species.
Ten per cent of penguin pairings in zoos and aquariums are typically same-sex males, while same-sex female pairings have also been observed in aquariums.
Two lesbian penguin couples were observed at London’s Sea Life aquarium in 2021 while the facilities were closed from public viewing during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Couples Marmalade and Chickpea, and Marama and Rocky, were both spotted attempting to court one another by bringing gifts that would later be used to build nests.
Catherine Pritchard, who managed the aquarium at the time, told the BBC: “Our Gentoo penguins are one of our most loved creatures.
“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.”
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