Gay penguins Klaus and Jones ‘rekindled their romance’ at Melbourne aquarium

Love is love — even among the world’s fastest-swimming penguins.

A beloved same-sex gentoo penguin couple at Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium in Australia have paired up “and rekindled their romance” during the current nesting season.

Klaus and Jones have been together for about four years, according to Emily Thornton, a penguin keeper at the aquarium. And while their coupling is nothing new to her, this year their nesting ritual is being celebrated by their keepers.

“Initially, they started building their nest in the wrong area as such, but this year, for the first time they’ve actually put it in the nesting platform area, which is really exciting,” Thornton said, adding that “they are a couple that we’re hoping one day might actually be foster parents.”

“While same-sex male couple can’t have their own eggs, we do actually provide Klaus and Jones with a dummy egg, and that can help them to pretend to be dads, or to practice being dads,” Thornton explained.

“Sea Life Melbourne has had many same-sex couples in our breeding history, and they have been doting parents,” the aquarium’s lead bird keeper, Tanith Davis, told the Australian Associated Press last year.

In May 2019, the Oceanworld Aquarium in Dingle, Ireland, was happy to report that same-sex couples were the majority in its penguin colony. Among the total population of 14 gentoo penguins who live there, eight of them are in a committed same-sex relationship.

In 2020, zookeepers at the Oceanogràfic Valencia aquarium in Spain announced a new addition to their colony of 25 gentoo penguins. Electra and Viola, a female couple, became first-time parents after incubating and hatching an adopted egg.

Other famous same-sex penguin couples include Thelma and Louise, an elderly lesbian couple from Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium, New Zealand; Sphen and Magic, a male couple who became the loving parents of an egg laid by a negligent heterosexual couple at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium in Australia; and Roy and Silo, a couple of male chinstrap penguins from New York City’s Central Park Zoo, who were together for six years.

Unfortunately, the pressure of being New York City’s celebrity penguin couple apparently ruined their relationship, and Silo left Roy for another penguin — a female named Scrappy.