Meet Elmer and Lima, a pair of Humboldt Penguins who have bonded at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse and who are now working together to co-parent a new baby penguin chick.

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Elmer and Lima are two male penguins who have developed a special relationship and according to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, the two penguins bonded during the most recent breeding season.

The chick egg was laid by Poquita and her mate Vente on December 23 and the zoo staff replaced the live egg with a dummy egg, giving Elmer and Lima the live egg because they felt the pair would be better suited to incubate it.

Elmer ad Lima built a home base for the egg and each of them took turns incubating the egg and because of their devotion, the chick was hatched on January 1, 2022. Elmer and Lima are now sharing the responsibility of caring for the chick by warming and feeding it since it was born.

It is not uncommon for a zoo to introduce an egg to foster parents but this is the first time ever that the Rosamond Gifford Zoo has introduced an egg to two male penguins to help bring to life and care for after birth.

Rosamond Gifford Zoo Director Ted Fox said in a statement that “Elmer and Lima’s success at fostering is one more story that our zoo can share to help people of all ages and backgrounds relate to animals.

Will Elmer and Lima go on to foster parent more eggs? Fox seems to think so saying,…once they have experience doing this and continue to do it well, they will be considered to foster future eggs.

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