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Same-sex Penguin Couple Nests Together in Israeli Zoo

Jackass penguins Suki and Chupchikoni are not the first gay animal couple to live in holy matrimony

By: Viva Sarah Press
Published: December 19th, 2013 in News » Israel
Suki and Chupchikoni, two female Jackass penguins, are waving a new rainbow flag at the Ramat Gan Zoological Center

Dashik and Yehuda, two male griffon vultures, first made headlines when they raised surrogate chicks together at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo back in 1999. Now, Suki and Chupchikoni, two female Jackass penguins, are waving a new rainbow flag at the Zoological Center Ramat Gan (Safari) just outside of Tel Aviv.

Safari keepers say it was pretty obvious that Suki was a female because of her size. As soon as she and Chupchikoni coupled up and started collecting nesting materials together, the zoo staff wrongly assumed that Suki’s black-footed penguin companion was a male.

Penguins pair for life and there was no mistaking Suki and Chupchikoni’s attraction.

“There is no way of telling a male penguin from a female just by looking at them,” says Safari spokeswoman Sagit Horowitz. “But usually the keepers can guess the gender by size and behavior.”

It was an Israeli veterinary student’s research on diagnosing avian malaria that outed Suki and Chupchikoni. Blood samples taken from the South African penguins showed that Chupchikoni was also a female.

“We had no doubt about Suki, as she is quite small,” said Tamuz Setti, head of the Safari Avian Department.

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Via ISRAEL21c

Related articles: Israel news, LGBT, Same Sex Couple, Penguins, Zoo
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