Sea Life Sydney has discovered their first ever same-sex penguin couple, Sphen and Magic – affectionately dubbed “Sphengic".
By
Samuel Leighton-Dore

12 Oct 2018 - 12:32 PM  UPDATED 12 Oct 2018 - 1:13 PM

For some animals, the arrival of Summer signals the start of breeding season. For others, it's simply a chance to express their authentic self.

This was the case recently when, to the surprise and delight of zookeepers at Sydney's Sea Life Aquarium, a pair of same-sex attracted penguins made their love known. Now Sphen and Magic, affectionately dubbed 'Sphengic' by staff and handlers, are the centre's newest couple.

 

Sphen and Magic began "developing a strong bond and became inseparable before breeding season" and are "constantly seen waddling around and going for swims together", according to a statement from the aquatic centre. 

With breeding season on its way, the pair have reportedly started collecting ‘ice pebbles’ to create a nest in the spot they share, and have collected more pebbles than any other couple.

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To ensure the couple were not excluded from the season, Magic and Sphen were then given a dummy egg to allow them to practice incubating and develop their skills. The pair were  "absolute naturals" and "displayed great excitement caring for their egg".

So much so, the team at Sea Life Sydney fostered a real egg to them from another couple who had two.

"Whilst Sphen is older and is excellent at incubating, Magic is younger and still mastering his skill," the Sea Life Sydney statement read.

"The pair make a great team, and there are often days where the egg can not be seen (which is really good for penguin breeding!)."

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