A penguin and a chick born at Wingham Wildlife Park in 2012Wingham Wildlife Park

Gay penguins that adopted an abandoned chick have been called the "best parents" by staff at the wildlife park they live in.

The same-sex couple at Wingham Wildlife Park came to adopt the chick after it was abandoned by its biological father, Hurricane, leaving all the parenting to his partner Isobel.

Jackie Biskin, whose husband Tony owns the Kent wildlife park, told "Hurricane is a very inconsiderate partner who is happy to get Isobel pregnant, however at that point Hurricane seems to think that his job is done."

In the wild, penguin parents share parenting duty and because of Hurricane's lack of responsibility, Isobel was forced to abandon her chick.

"We waited a little while and watched them on a CCTV camera set up in the nest box, but saw that she was leaving the egg for too long and couldn't risk it getting too cold," said Becky Johnson, head of birds and mammals at the park, said.

However, luckily gay penguins Kermit and Jumbs were there to take over. They had been caring for a dummy egg since their frustration from being unable to have their own chick resulted in the pair fighting – the dummy was provided by the Biskins and the couple stopped fighting.

Humboldt's Penguin
Humboldt's PenguinsOlaf Oliviero Riemer

Tony Biskin said: "In 2013 these two birds had a fall out and we actually had to physically split them apart for some time to stop them fighting, and we wondered whether it was a possibility that an inability to produce an egg had caused some kind of frustration for the birds.

"We gave them a dummy egg to at least give them the illusion that they were nurturing an egg – even if it was never going to lead to anything."

When Isobel abandoned her egg, it was passed over to Kermit and Jumbs and it hatched on 12 April: "These two have so far proven to be two of the best penguin parents we have had yet," Tony Biskin said.

CCTV footage of the pair shows how they share parenting duties, taking it in turns to feed and care for the chick.

"This is only our second year of breeding, but having such good surrogate parents available should we need them is a huge bonus for us.

"Being brought up by individuals of the same species always has a better outcome for animals being reared. While we will intervene and hand rear animals if necessary, it is something we prefer to avoid ... Whilst it is certainly still early days for this chick, so far things are looking good."