If you haven't had your dose of "awwww" yet today, get ready to not need another one for a month. Two male penguins who were living at the Berlin Zoo are in love, and now they get to spend the rest of their lives being together in a facility that fully supports their lifestyle.
I'm sorry, I think I just had a cuteness stroke. I already can't handle how adorable gay couples look when they're all gussied up in tuxedos, but now you're telling me my favorite perpetual tuxedo-wearing animal gents are coupling up? I might as well pack it in and move to Berlin immediately.
The penguins in love are named Stan and Olli (I know, I know, I'm working on a penguin-style romantic comedy as we speak), and they were originally brought to the Berlin Zoo for a mating program. Little did the staff know, these two had no intention of participating, at least not with any lady penguins.
"They're gay, as far as we know," Christiane Reiss, Berlin Zoo spokeswoman, told TheLocal.de. "They never bred. And when it came to courtship, they only mated with one another." You bet they did. I mean, just look at those fine male specimens! It's no wonder they only had eyes for each other.
Thankfully, the Berlin Zoo was very understanding of the situation, and thus decided to transfer Stan and Olli to a zoo that spoke to their proclivities. It's called Hagenback, and it boasts an all-male penguin facility in Hamburg, Germany. Needless to say, they won't feel any pressure to fertilize females in that environment and can live out their lives as the happy couple they always wanted to be.
The couple was transferred to the facility this week and will be in good company with other like-minded penguins. In fact, another penguin couple there, Juan and Carlos, are even trying their hand at child-rearing (well, sort of — they were given a plastic egg to nurture for now). It's wonderful to know there are places that encourage penguins to embrace whatever sexuality they are and not force them to be breeders if their hearts are not in it.
Of course, it's not the only place that's giving gay penguin couples a chance. Just this past February, a gay penguin couple from Toronto were given a baby chick to foster, because the mother had her hands full with its twin. This type of situation works perfectly with male penguins because male, heterosexual penguins take equal part in the incubation and nurturing of their babies, so it's already inherent to them.
Let's hope Stan and Olli are given that chance down the line, because if you think the pictures of them together are cute, just imagine how mind-blowing they'd look with a little baby penguin at their feet.
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