The two Jackasses- which are also known as black-footed penguins Suki and Chupchikoni met in the Ramat Gan Safai park in Israel, and were assumed to be a male and female pairing.
Safari keepers assumed that Suki, who is smaller, was female, and Chupchikoni was male. “There is no way of telling a male penguin from a female just by looking at them,” said safari spokeswoman Sagit Horowitz. “But usually the keepers can guess the gender by size and behaviour.”
There was never a doubt that Chupchikoni was male – in colloquial Hebrew, the word “chupchik,” means “thingy,” and according to , can be used as a slang word for penis.
That particular breed of penguin lives in colonies, and usually return to the same nesting site each year. The pair have not yet built a burrow of their own, but have been gathering nesting materials together.
After blood tests, the penguins were revealed to be two females. and safari park workers said there was no shortage of available males – to dispel the idea that they got together for lack of an available opposite-sex mate.*
Same-sex relationships have been observed in animals in official records as far back as 1911.*
* Regardless of the "no shortage of males" status, these penguins are still kept in artificial conditions and their choices for a mate are far more limited than those penguins in the wild.