A pair of gay Humboldt penguins named Jumbs and Kermit (cutest names ever?) have been a couple since 2012, when they paired up and waddled off in love at the Wingham Wildlife Park in Kent, England. The one sad point in their coupling? They can't reproduce together. As they've exhibited no interest in the female penguins in their habitat, Jumbs and Kermit would never be able to become parents. At least, that's what everyone thought. Then another problem arose with a different penguin couple, Hurricane and Isobel.
The problem is that Hurricane refuses to incubate any eggs that Isobel lays, so when Isobel needs food, she is forced to choose between death and her egg. That's a rock and a hard place if ever there was one. So, zoo staff decided to innovate. They took the doomed egg from Isobel and Hurricane and gave it to Jumbs and Kermit.
This is their second swing at daddyhood, after an egg was previously given to them and failed to hatch. However, luck smiled on Jumbs and Kermit this past April, when a male chick was successfully hatched. The staff is waiting to name the baby until it is clear that he will make it, but this far, the zoo has said that he is doing “really well”. Good news for the little family!
The pair have even been lauded for their parenting skills. On the Wingham Wildlife Park Facebook page, a spokesman proclaimed, "Kermit and Jumbs have since hatched this egg, and the one-month-old baby is showing that these two penguins are excellent surrogate parents, and dare we say some of the best penguin parents we have here."
The unnamed baby.
Jumbs and Kermit with their wee one.