Inca and Rayas are already incubating the egg and getting ready to be parents
The Toronto Zoo may have separated "gay" penguins Buddy and Pedro, but zookeepers in Madrid are taking a different approach with their all-male couple.
Inca and Rayas, the couple at Madrid's Faunia Park, have been given an egg to take care of.
"We wanted them to have something to stay together for - so we got an egg," said zookeeper Yolanda Martin in a Telegraph article. "Otherwise they might have become depressed."
The couple has had to watch other penguins raise their young.
According to the Telegraph, Inca has taken on the role of incubating the donated egg and sits like a statue atop it while Rayas watches the nest and eats as much as he can in preparation of having to feed the little one regurgitated food.
Martin said it's great to cheer people up as Spain is in an economic turmoil, but notes the pair actually isn't gay. They are just best friends who have been together for six years.
"When you put things in captivity, odd things happen," said Kevin McGowan of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology to ABCNews.com. "The way penguins work is they do get paired for a long time. Basically, the only other penguin they care about is their mate, so it's important for them to find somebody who's compatible, and if you don't have a normal upbringing then it's difficult to say how 'normal' they can be."
He also said that because they are not like mammals where only one sex can feed a newborn, both sexes are capable of raising young.
Inca and Rayas received their egg months after a zoo in China gave a couple named Adam and Steve a newly-hatched chick to care for.
However, Toronto is a different story. Buddy and Pedro, who were originally from Ohio, were separated by zookeepers in November. The Zoo said it was necessary because the African penguins have top-notch genes and are an endangered species. The Toronto Star reported in December Buddy had found a female mate and breeding activities were observed.
On a sad note, the two did get into a verbal fight as they sat across from each other in their nests.
As for the penguins in Madrid, their egg is expected to crack in June.
(Reuters photo of Pedro and Buddy)