Celebrate These 11 Adorable Gay Penguin Couples on #PenguinAwarenessDay

by Madeline Raynor

It’s Penguin Awareness Day, and what better penguins are there to be aware of than gay penguins? Yes, gay penguins do exist outside the world of Parks and Recreation. These penguin couples are breaking barriers by being in long-term same-sex relationships and even raising adopted babies together. Learn about these eleven penguin couples that have made headlines for their love. These lovebirds should be your new #RelationshipGoals.

1. Roy and Silo

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Roy and Silo are a male penguin couple from New York’s Central Park Zoo. The chinstrap penguins were so devoted to each other and wanted to have children so badly that they started sitting on a rock as if it were an egg. They also tried to steal eggs from other penguin couples. Hey, love makes you do crazy things, right? The zoo took notice and gave them a fake egg, and they did so well with it that the zoo gave them the second egg from a hetrosexual couple. They incubated it expertly and gave birth to their daughter, Tango. Sadly, they broke up in 2004 after six years together. Silo left Roy for a female named Scrappy. But their is a silver lining: despite the divorce, Tango grew up into a well-adjusted young penguin who began a gay relationship with another female penguin, Tanuzi. Roy, Silo, and Tango are the subjects of the children’s book And Tango Makes Three.

2. Milou and Squawk from the Central Park Zoo

Things were heating up in 2004 for Milou and Squawk, two young male penguins who just started getting their flirt on, exhibiting courtship behaviors like bowing.

3. Georgey and Mickey from the Central Park Zoo

In 2004, Georgey and Mickey, two female Gentoo penguins, took their relationship to the next level by trying to incubate eggs.

4. Wendell and Cass from The New York Aquarium

Wendell and Cass’s relationship had been hot and heavy for a while when acquarium staff did blood tests and discovered that they were both males. Wendell and Cass were probably like, “Yeah, obviously. We’re just a couple of fabulous queers in a committed relationship. Nothing out of the ordinary here.” The two have a healthy sex life and an awesome house that all the other penguins are jealous of. This Salon article about them also describes penguin sex (both hetrosexual and homosexual).

5. Jumbs and Kermit from the Wingham Wildlife Park in Kent, England

Jumbs and Kermit first got together in 2012, and they began raising an egg together in 2014. Zookeepers gave them an egg after the father in another hetrosexual couple left the mother on her own. According to Park owner Tony Binskin, “These two have so far proven to be two of the best penguin parents we have had yet.” You go, Jumbs and Kermit.

6. Z and Vielpunkt from the Bremerhaven zoo

These gay male penguins got the chance to raise a baby together in 2009 when they were given an egg that was rejected by the biological parents. The adoptive fathers are very attentive and loving.

7. Buddy and Pedro from the Toronto Zoo

The male penguin couple Buddy and Pedro were devoted partners, but unfortuntely the Toronto Zoo separated them in 2012 to force them to mate with females (not cool). Since they mated with females, it doesn’t seem like they want to get back together. I think we can blame the Toronto Zoo for this one.

8. Missy and Penelope from Dingle Oceanworld in Ireland

These female mates celebrated their second anniversary in 2015 with a rainbow cake. Gay Pride forever.

9. Chupchikoni and Suki from the Ramat Gan Zoological Center in Israel

Chupchikoni and Suki had been together for 20 months when their zookeepers did blood tests and discovered they were both female. Even though they don’t have their own egg, they’re playing house: living together and pretending to nest. Just don’t go to IKEA, ladies. You will break up.

10. Inca and Rayas from the Madrid Zoo

After six years together, Inca and Rayas, two male penguins, finally got the chance to be parents in 2012 after their keeper gave them an egg. Inca is the more maternal parent and Rayas enacts the father’s role by standing guard.

11. Guido and Molly from the East London Aquarium in South Africa

Male same-sex couple Guido and Molly (the latter was named when keepers thought he was a girl) became superhero parents in 2009 when they took on an egg that was abandoned by a heterosexual couple. Curator Siani Tiley says “They’re very happy together and made great parents.” Live your best life, Guido and Molly!

Header Image via Flickr/Paul Mannix

Image Via Simon & Schuster

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