The Rosamond Gifford Zoo, in Syracuse New York, has its first same-sex foster parents!
The Rosamond Gifford Zoo has participated in the Species Survival Plan for Humboldt penguins since 2005.
The zoo has exceeded expectations by hatching over 55 Humboldt penguin chicks.
Elmer and Lima are both male South American Humboldt penguins. Both hatched at the zoo within the last 6 years.
They became a same-sex couple in 2021, building a nest and defending it. The zoo decided that they had the ability to be good foster parents.
Apparently, not all penguin couples are good parents, regardless of sex. Some couples fight over who gets to sit on the egg and others accidentally crack the egg.
Elmer got his name because of his cracked shell.
Staff had to glue the shell back together with Elmers Glue until he hatched.
Elmer and Lima have done a great job of taking turns incubating the egg since late December.
They got the opportunity to be foster parents because the original penguin parents have a history of accidentally breaking their eggs and killing the chick. The original parents got a “dummy egg” while Elmer and Lima got the opportunity to become the Zoo’s first same-sex foster couple.
Both dads are continuing to warm and feed the chick since it hatched on January 1st. 2022.
The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is not alone in having successful same-sex foster penguin parents. Several other zoos in the U.S. and around the world have success stories involving same-sex penguin foster parents.
Zoos in Spain, Germany, Australia, along the U.S. have successfully hatched penguin chicks with both same-sex male and female couples.
Humboldt penguins aren’t the only penguin species with successful same-sex foster parents. Chicks hatched by same-sex penguin couples include Humboldt, Magellanic, and Gentoo penguins.
Another WIN for Team Wildlife!
If you like this story be sure to read My Five Best Wildlife Moments!
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