‘Gay’ Penguin Pair Adopt a Baby Chick in China

Hot on the tail feathers of Canada's gay-penguin controversy, a China zoo has given another same-sex penguin couple the opportunity to raise a chick — and so far, everyone seems to be doing just fine

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Tier Und Naturfotografie J & C Sohns

A pair of African penguins walk together in Betty's Bay, South Africa

First came Roy and Silo and their children’s book, And Tango Makes Three. Then Buddy and Pedro made headlines as a “gay” penguin couple (the term doesn’t normally apply to animals) that was being separated by the Toronto Zoo. Now meet China’s same-sex penguin pair, 0310 and 067 — or as NewsFeed likes to call them, Adam and Steve.

Adam and Steve have a pretty lush life at Harbin Polar Land in northern China. While zookeepers at the Toronto Zoo were quick to separate Buddy and Pedro for mating purposes, keepers at Harbin Polar Land embraced their eccentric penguins by not only giving them a same-sex wedding ceremony worthy of Leslie Knope but also providing them with their very own baby chick to care for.

(PHOTOS: Same-Sex Overtures Across Species)

Adam and Steve had a history of stealing eggs from more-traditional couples during hatching season. So when keepers noticed a mother of recently hatched twins struggling with her parenting duties, they decided to give Adam and Steve the baby they were looking for.

While it might seem, well, different for a penguin chick to have two male parents, in fact, all penguins are known to have natural instincts for parenting, as males and females equally share in the responsibility to incubate and care for their chicks, before and after they’re born. For this reason, keepers at Harbin Polar Land are confident that Adam and Steve’s chick will grow up to be just like its penguin peers.

MORE: Are Penguins Gay? No, They’re Just Lonely

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