A female penguin couple have invited a widowed penguin into their relationship to form a ‘thruple’ and the happy trio are now expecting babies.
Karl Ruprecht, an African penguin (Spheniscus demersus, also known as a Jackass Penguin) who was recently widowed in Magdeburg Zoo in Magdeburg ,the capital city of the state of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, has been let into the relationship of female penguin couple Sarafina and Jose.
Sarafina and Jose, have been a couple since 2016 and are inseparable according to zoo workers and have now accepted Karl into their partnership.
The female pair have often been seen incubating their eggs, but without a man in the relationship the eggs will not be fertilised. The penguins have shown signs of desperation looking after their eggs.
But now it seems their dream of motherhood could become a reality. Karl Ruprecht, a male penguin in the enclosure, is now single after the death of his partner Agatha in 2018 and since then he has become close with the two female penguins.
Now zoo workers have seen Karl Ruprechst disappear into the nest of Jose and also Sarafina and both of the penguins have now laid eggs.
In May 2018, chicks had been born from the trio, but they did not survive.
However, the three penguins are now sitting on new eggs and there are hopes these will bring the much longed for chicks to the two mothers and the happy father.
The eggs are expected to hatch in late November.
DNA tests would be needed to establish which chicks belong to each mother.
Susann Paelecke from Magdeburg zoo said: “We have had homosexual penguin couples before. They were separated at the time, but we did not want to do this with the two females.”
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