African penguins Pedro (R) and Buddy interact with each other at the Toronto Zoo in Toronto November 8, 2011.
Credits: REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Gay penguins, and other animals, can be found in captivity and in the wild.
Pedro and Buddy are now part of the Species Survival Plan launched in November.
"We have been pleased with the pair bonding and breeding activity of the program so far," Tom Mason, the curator of birds and invertebrates at the zoo, said.
"African penguins are endangered and breeding programs such as the one currently in progress at the Toronto Zoo are integral to the survival of the species," he said.
Buddy was paired with a female, and some mating activity has taken place.
Pedro was first introduced to a female penguin on Dec. 1, but no bonding has taken place.
Each pair of birds is given a nest box lined with gravel and flexible tubing to create the nest.A female African penguin can lay an egg anywhere from a few days to a month after she has ovulated.
"Given the amount of breeding activity, we are optimistic that the program will yield positive results," Mason said.
"If all goes according to plan, we could see new African penguin chicks at the Toronto Zoo as early as the end of January 2012."
Most often, one egg is laid and both parents take turns incubating it. After birth, both care for the chick for up to six weeks.
At that point, zookeepers take over caring for the chicks.
Ninety-five percent of the African penguin population in the wild has disappeared.
In 1910 there were an estimated 1.2 million African penguins, and today there are only about 50,000 left.