World Penguin Day is on Saturday, April 25

By Georgia Slater
April 24, 2020 01:56 PM
Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

Male gentoo penguins Sphen and Magic, collectively known as Sphengic, and their baby Lara are here to help you celebrate World Penguin Day from the comfort of your home.

On Saturday, the aquarium penguin team at Australia’s Sydney Sea Life — which is currently temporarily closed amid the novel coronavirus pandemic — is coming to homes via live-stream with an update on everyone’s favorite same-sex aquatic couple.

During the 2018 breeding season, aquarium staff first gave “Sphengic” a fake egg to incubate so they wouldn’t feel left out.

After noticing that the two were so diligent at caring for it — taking turns sitting on it and keeping other penguins from stealing their pebbles — they received a real egg to foster from another bird who’d laid two.

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

The couple then made history with the birth of baby Lara — the aquarium’s first sub-Antarctic chick since the colony first joined the Darling Harbour family in November 2016, according to a press release.

“Whether in attraction or via social media, we’re constantly inundated with questions about the Sphengic family, so we’re very excited to take Sphengic fans from all around the world behind the scenes in our Macquarie Island inspired exhibit!” Tish Hannan, the aquarium’s penguin department supervisor, said of the World Penguin Day live stream.

She continued, “Join our entire penguin colony for some morning enrichment activities, before Q&A with our team who are ready to answer all of your burning Sphengic questions!”

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

The live-stream will be shown on the aquarium’s Facebook page beginning at 9 a.m. Australian EST.

Sphen and Magic had been attracting visitors since they started to develop a strong bond just before the 2018 breeding season, according to the venue’s website.

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

They often waddled around and went for swims side by side, and to assert their relationship status, the pair started to build a pebble nest together. They quickly gathered more pebbles than any other couple in the exhibit.

There have been several famous same-sex male penguin couples over the years, NPR reports. Silo and Roy, chinstrap penguins, were together for six years at the Central Park Zoo in New York City, and Harry and Pepper, Magellanics, lived together for the same amount of time in San Francisco.