Gay swans are given 3D-printed eggs after they build nest together

In absolutely adorable animal news, a gay swan couple at a zoo has been given 3D-printed eggs to raise after they built a beautiful nest together.

The two male black swans – named Billy and Elliot – live at the Melbourne Zoo together after being rescued follow a dog attack. The birds are unable to return to the wild so have stayed at the zoo ever since.

Their names are possibly an ode to the film and stage musical Billy Elliot, about a young boy from a working-class mining community who discovers he has a talent for ballet and goes on to star as the Swan in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake.

The pair got little “frisky” during the springtime and began to court each other, proceeding to build a “wonderful” nest together like any good would-be fathers.

One of the eggs being 3D-printed (Melbourne Zoo)

“This is something we do see in wild swans,” a Zoos Victoria a bird keeper named Ben explained in a video posted by the zoo. “Two boys can pair up. This got the bird team thinking about ways we can provide an opportunity to have a reproductive behaviour as part of their behavioural repertoire.”

Cue Zoo Healseville Sanctuary volunteer, who creates 3D-printed eggs for Zoos Victoria’s various properties.

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“Eggs aren’t necessarily about just making babies, they’re actually part of the behaviors inbuilt in these birds,” Guy said.

The team placed the eggs in the couple’s nest and whilst they did show a fair bit of interest in the faux eggs, they did not sit on them this time.

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Regardless, the team said they will keeping “working on” it and will offer the birds the eggs again next breeding season.

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