INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Zoo is welcoming two new fluffy — for now — friends into its care.
One Gentoo penguin chick hatched on Dec. 15 to a same-sex pair — a first for the zoo. The zoo said same-sex pairings have occurred with penguin species both in the wild and in other zoos. A female penguin laid the egg and left it with two male penguins, who cared for it ever since. Those male birds are now first-time dads.
According to the zoo, Gentoo penguins co-parent their young just like a female-male partnership. The males take turns tending to the nest, incubating the egg and feeding the chick once it's hatched.
The other chick — born to a male-female pair — hatched Dec. 8, also to first-time parents. The zoo does not yet know the sex of the two chicks but both are growing well.
The older chick weighed 99.7 grams at birth and has since grown to 2,000 grams, or 4 pounds, 6 ounces. The second chick was 114 grams at birth and has grown to 1,405 grams, or 3 pounds, 1 ounce.
The chicks are the first two penguin chicks hatched at the Indianapolis Zoo since 2012, and the first of the Gentoo species since 2011.