An Amsterdam zoo now claims two new parents — just not in the way most would expect.
Artis Zoo said in a statement Wednesday that two male griffon vultures have successfully raised and hatched an abandoned egg.
"We have had them for some years. They always build a nest together, bond and mate together," zookeeper Job van Tol told the BBC. "But, as two males, the one thing they could not do was lay an egg."
The keepers who originally found the egg first put it in an incubator, but then decided it belonged in a nest the two male vultures built together in their enclosure.
"It was a bit of risk as we had no guarantees of success, but we thought, finally, this is their chance," he said.
The two vultures, who have been together for years, took turns sitting on the egg. Now that the baby vulture has hatched, they take turns feeding it.
"As in some penguin species, vultures do everything the same, they alternate all the jobs. Females lay the eggs, but they breed together, they forage for food together. Males are programmed to have that duty of care."
The publication reports this is the first successful hatching in five years. Near the same time, two rescued heterosexual parents also hatched an egg in the zoo.