Featured Image Credit: Richard Robinson
Meet Thelma and Louise, an elderly same-sex penguin couple at Auckland’s Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium in New Zealand. They have been together for over five years. Their lives consist of fishing, singing and dancing together and now…raising a baby together!
When another penguin at the aquarium they live at recently became a single mother, Thelma and Louise stepped (more like waddled) in to help! Because when are left to raise a chick on their own, they struggle severely from the stress. The chick was born happy and healthy on February 26.
Thelma and Louise don’t let their age stop them from being great parents! They are both 24 years old, with the species life expectancy being 15-20 years. They are great at sharing the task of parenthood as a team.
“They absolutely love having a chick to take care of,” says zookeeper Ebony Dwipayana.
“Obviously, they are not able to have their own, so the fact they can still raise a healthy chick is amazing for them, and is such a beautiful experience to share.”
Believe it or not, this isn’t the first story of a same-sex penguin couple looking after chicks! King penguins require a bond rather than a more traditional male/female relationship during their breeding season and the same sex pairing has no impact on the raising of young. Zookeepers say it is completely natural!
To learn more about Thelma and Louise’s story, watch this video! Video not working? Click here!