A pair of gay penguins thrown out of their zoo colony for repeatedly stealing eggs have been given some of their own to look after following a protest by animal rights groups.
Last month the birds were segregated after they were caught placing stones at the feet of parents before waddling away with their eggs.
But angry visitors to Polar Land in Harbin, northern China, complained it wasn’t fair to stop the couple from becoming surrogate fathers and urged zoo bosses to give them a chance.
In response, zookeepers gave the pair two eggs laid by an inexperienced first-time mother.
‘We decided to give them two eggs from another couple whose hatching ability had been poor and they’ve turned out to be the best parents in the whole zoo,’ said one of the keepers.
‘It’s very encouraging and if this works out well we will try to arrange for them to become real parents themselves with artificial insemination.’