This same-sex penguin couple just became foster parents

Elmer and Lima are about to be foster parents after the pair took care of an egg that hatched on New Year’s Day.

Get ready for your heart to melt, because, for the first time at Rosamond Gifford Zoo in New York, two male Humboldt penguins will parent a newborn chick.

Elmer and Lima watched over an egg that was bred by two other penguins who had a habit of accidentally cracking eggs. According to the Zoo’s director, Ted Fox, “Elmer and Lima were exemplary in every aspect of egg care,” and a healthy penguin chick hatched from the egg on January 1.

Elmer and Lima’s foster hatchling | Credit: Rosamond Gifford Zoo/Twitter

This isn’t the first time a same-sex penguin couple has fostered a newborn in captivity. In fact, many zoos and breeding facilities find same-sex adoption to be a successful method of caring for young penguins.

To determine whether Elmer and Lima were up to the task of caring for the egg, New York Zoo officials placed a pretend egg in the nest the couple built together last breeding season.

The pair quickly proved their parenting prowess, and the zoo swapped the dummy egg for the real deal. “Once they have experience doing this and continue to do it well, they will be considered to foster future eggs,” Fox said.

If you’re like us and immediately went to book flights to New York, we’ve got you covered.