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Dublin: 3 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019
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A wedding could be on the cards for Ireland's first gay penguins

Two female penguins, Penelope and Missy, are nesting together in Dingle Oceanworld.

The penguin enclosure at Dingle Oceanworld.
The penguin enclosure at Dingle Oceanworld.

PENGUIN KEEPERS AT Dingle Oceanworld are saying “Why not?” to the possibility of marriage between Ireland’s first same-sex penguin couple.

The Irish Examiner reported yesterday that two female penguins, Penelope and Missy, were nesting together in the Co Kerry aquarium.

Oceanworld’s penguin expert Kate Hall told DailyEdge.ie that they suspected Penelope and Missy might have been more than friends ‘for a couple of years’, but the penguins only showed actual signs of courting in the last month.

Hall says the pair have made a nest together and appear to want to have chicks:

They are bowing to each other – they face each other and bow and make a funny hissing noise. They are also bringing each other pebbles. One will guard the nest while the other one will look around for nice stones and bring them back. Then they’ll bow to each other again. It’s very sweet.

missypenelope That's Missy on the left, and Penelope showing us her tail feathers on the right. Source: Dingle Oceanworld

The aquarium has 12 penguins in all, 10 of which are paired off.

We have four males but they’re already spoken for. Missy and Penelope probably wouldn’t have been that interested anyway!

An aquarium in China threw a lavish wedding for their same-sex penguin couple back in 2009 – and last year in Spain, two male penguins adopted a chick of their own after nesting together for six years.

Hall isn’t saying no to the possibility of a wedding for Penelope and Missy:

Yeah, why not? We’d have to keep them in line with a couple of fish though.

Right. We’re off to buy our fascinators.

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