Love Wins at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
It’s breeding season at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, and this year, same-sex couple Sphen and Magic, collectively known as Sphengic, are the attraction’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 in the Penguin Expedition exhibit at Sea Life Sydney.
As breeding season fast approached, the couple started collecting ‘ice pebbles’ to create a nest in their spot, and now have more pebbles than any other couple - by far!
Once laid, expectant Gentoo parents keep their eggs warm on pebble nesting rings scattered throughout the Macquarie Island inspired exhibit. Swapping duties daily, while one of the parents are doing their best to incubate the egg, the other is patrolling the perimeters of the nest, warding off any potential pebble thieves or over-inquisitive neighbours.
To ensure the couple were not excluded from the season, Magic and Sphen were given a dummy egg to allow them to practice incubating and develop their skills. They 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 pair make a great team, and there are often days where the egg can not be seen (which is really good for penguin breeding!).
Sea Life Sydney Aquarium’s Gentoo Penguin breeding program hopes to follow in the path of sister aquarium, Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium’s Penguin breeding program, which after six consecutive years is amongst the most successful in the world.