Two male penguins, Jumbs and Kermit, have been hailed the “best penguin parents” ever to an abandoned little chick.
The duo are Humboldt penguins (Spheniscus humboldti), and they live in Wingham Wildlife Park in Kent, England. The two paired up back in 2012, leaving two females without mates. "Whilst it was nice to see two of our birds pair up, it actually meant that we were left with not two but four birds unable to reproduce within our collection," park owner Tony Binskin told the BBC.
The same-sex couple were given an egg after the baby’s mother, Isobel, left it because the father, Hurricane, refused to help her incubate it. It’s happened more than once: Hurricane is “happy to get Isobel pregnant,” according to owner Jackie Binskin, but then “seems to think that his job is done.”
One egg had already been given to the pair, though failed it to hatch. Then, Isobel laid another egg in March, but had to leave it to find food. The egg was given to Jumbs and Kermit, and they hatched it in April.
"These two have so far proven to be two of the best penguin parents we have had yet,” Tony Binskin said back in May. “We are still very much starting our breeding efforts with this species, and this is only our second year of breeding, but having such good surrogate parents available should we need them is a huge bonus for us."
Images: Wingham Wildlife Park's Facebook