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A gay couple of male penguins has attempted to steal eggs from straight penguin couples, at the Polar Land zoo in north-east China. In an effort to hide their crime, the couple even placed stones at the feet of parenting penguins before leaving with their eggs.
"One of the responsibilities of being a male adult is looking after the eggs," explains a zookeeper. "Despite this being a biological impossibility for this couple, the natural desire is still there."
But their behavior has been noticed by the other penguins, and they have been ostracised from their group. Now pressure from animal rights groups and zoo visitors has forced keepers to give the pair some eggs of their own.
The happy couple have become doting dads after being given eggs laid by an inexperienced first-time mother.
“We decided to give them two eggs from another couple whose hatching ability had been poor and they’ve turned out to be the best parents in the whole zoo,” said a keeper.
“It’s very encouraging and if this works out well we will try to arrange for them to become real parents themselves with artificial insemination.”
Wildlife experts at the park say the three-year-old male birds are still driven by an urge to be dads.
“Despite the fact they can’t have eggs naturally, it does not take away their biological drive to be a parent,” said one.