A same-sex penguin couple are brand new mothers after the hatching of their very first adoptive chick.
Marama and Rocky, a same-sex Gentoo penguin couple at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium, are now the proud parents of a sweet baby chick who was born in June weighing 82 grams and measuring 11 centimeters tall. The gender and name of the two-week-old chick has not yet been revealed.
SEA LIFE London told INSIDER that Marama and Rocky have been together for five years and have an “incredibly strong bond.” They adopted the egg after “demonstrating to the London aquarium’s expert team that they would make fantastic parents.”
“Marama and Rocky have taken to becoming parents like ducks to water, or should I say penguins,” SEA LIFE London general manager Graham McGrath said in a statement sent to INSIDER.
“Caring for a newborn is tough for anyone, from the sleepless nights to the constant feeding, yet this wonderful pair of penguin parents are completely unflappable and seem to be taking it all in stride.”
“We can’t wait to see the chick grow and develop under Marama and Rocky’s careful and nurturing guidance over the coming weeks and months,” he added.
SEA LIFE London said the egg was one of two born to its birth mother and was “moved to relieve her of the pressure of raising two chicks.”
The new parents have already built the biggest nest out of the colony for their new addition, and have been performing nest shifts so that the other mother can still have a chance to swim and feed.
SEA LIFE said that Marama is the older of the pair and is thus “naturally being more protective” of her new chick.
Meanwhile, Rocky is known for being “free-spirited and inquisitive” and is excited to teach her chick “everything it needs to know about life as a penguin,” the aquarium added.
Marama and Rocky’s baby is the second Gentoo penguin chick to be born at the aquarium this year as part of SEA LIFE’s conservation program.
Same-sex couples are common among penguins, especially those who live in larger colonies, according to the aquarium.