IndyZoo welcomes two penguin chicks

A male penguin and his partner are raising this chick.

What's new at the zoo? Penguins!

The Indianapolis Zoo has welcomed the arrival of two Gentoo penguin chicks, hatched just days before Christmas. And they're being raised in two different families: one by a same-sex pair, which is a first for the zoo.

The two male birds became first-time dads when their chick hatched on Dec. 15. A female that’s actually paired with another penguin laid the egg and left it with the male couple, who have been caring for it ever since. Same-sex pairings have also occurred with penguin species in the wild and in other zoos.

Gentoo penguins co-parent their young, and just as a female-male pair would do, the two fathers have taken turns tending the nest, incubating the egg and now feeding the chick.

A female Gentoo penguin with her chick.

The other chick hatched a week earlier on Dec. 8 to a female-male pair who also are first-time parents. All the adults are doing a great job as caregivers according to zoo officials. And while they don’t know the gender of the two chicks, the young birds are both growing quickly.

The first-born chick weighed 99.7 grams at birth and has grown to 2,000 grams (4 pounds, 6 ounces) at its last weigh-in. The second chick has already grown to 1,405 grams (3 pounds, 1 ounce) from its birth weight of 114 grams.

These are the first two penguin chicks hatched at the Indianapolis Zoo since 2012, and the first for the Gentoo flock since 2011. For more info, visit

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