Dubai's love bird penguins find romance in the snow
Love is in the freezing cold air at Ski Dubai as two of the attraction’s penguins prepare to celebrate their first anniversary as a couple tomorrow.
A Ski Dubai spokesperson revealed this week that Gentoo male penguin Pumpkin ‘proposed’ to feathered friend Pie on February 14 last year and the couple has been inseparable since.
Pie made Pumpkin work for her affections however, giving him the cold shoulder a number of times before accepting his proposal. She shunned him 12 times, but Pumpkin’s persistence paid off and it proved to be a lucky 13.
Experts at Ski Dubai explained that penguins are romantic when it comes to popping the question.
“The males offer the best pebble they can find to their chosen suitor. If she likes him and his pebble she will accept it,” said the spokesperson.
However, the tradition differs slightly in case of King penguins. “If the female responds to the male’s displays of hiccupping, clicking his beak and singing, by doing the same in return, she is showing she is interested,” explained the Ski Dubai rep, adding that the male is always the one to propose in case of both species.
The charming black-and-white birds can also be very affectionate. “Gentoos bow their heads and display a light braying noise… this is them saying ‘I love you’,” explained the spokesperson.
“If they are really excited they will sing to one another.” And of course, penguin-couples fight and makeup too, but the quarrel doesn’t last long.
“They could have a dispute over dinner or personal space just like the rest of us, however the argument lasts approximately two seconds and immediately afterwards they reassure each other everything is OK,” the spokesperson.
If the couple have a successful breeding season. the likelihood of them staying together is high. However, if they are unsuccessful they may look for another mate.
Can penguins really fall in love or is it just part of a Valentine's Day gimmick? Tell us what you think below.