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Gay Penguin Couple at Australian Aquarium Expecting Second Chick

Penguins Sphen and Magic

The gentoo penguins made global news last October with the hatching of their first chick, Sphengic.

Sphen and Magic, a pair of male penguins at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, are fostering another egg together.

The gentoo penguin couple made global news last October with the hatching of their first chick, Sphengic. At the time, the aquarium said that Sphen had courted Magic by giving him a special stone, "equivalent to proposing in the love language of penguins."

"I'm happy to announce that our strongest power couple, Sphen and Magic, are still together for the second year in a row. They're doing extremely well," said penguin keeper Tish Hannan in a video posted to the aquarium's YouTube page.

Hannan noted that the duo has been given a second egg to foster, though it's unclear "at this stage" whether it will be fertile. She also said that Sphen and Magic have "the biggest and most beautiful and possibly neatest nest in the entire exhibit," calling them "penguin power couple goals."

It's also unclear when the new egg was laid, but the gentoo penguin incubation period is around 35 days.

Gay penguins were catapulted into the public spotlight with the publication of And Tango Makes Three, the 2005 children's book about Central Park Zoo chinstrap penguins Roy and Silo. Although the real-life Roy and Silo drifted apart that year, their chick, Tango, paired with another female penguin named Tazuni.

Earlier this year, two female penguins named Rocky and Marmara hatched a "genderless" chick at the Sea Life London Aquarium, according to NBC News.

Meanwhile, more than half of the gentoo penguins at the Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium in Kerry, Ireland, are in same-sex partnerships, reports the Mirror.

And two male emperor penguins named Skipper and Ping were given the chance to foster an egg at the Zoo Berlin in August after trying to hatch rocks. Unfortunately, that egg was not fertile and burst open a few weeks later. A zoo spokesperson told the Local, "They will surely get the opportunity to become parents again in the future."

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Kat Jercich