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Penguins caught on camera giving sweet gifts to their mates with ‘lucky charms’

A group of penguins standing on rocks.
On St. Patrick's Day, the Detroit Zoo caught some of its penguins on camera giving gifts to their partners in a sweet romantic gesture.

There’s a whole waddle love at the Detroit Zoo.

On St. Patrick’s Day, the zoo’s penguins were caught on camera giving gifts to their partners in a sweet romantic gesture.

“The penguins were gifted some ‘lucky charms’ to give to their mates during nesting season!” the Detroit Zoo captioned a TikTok Monday.

The Detroit Zoo shared the footage of its penguins showing the love on St. Patrick’s Day. Facebook/Detroit Zoo
The Detroit Zoo shared the footage of its penguins showing the love on St. Patrick’s Day. Facebook/Detroit Zoo

Multi-colored painted pebbles were dropped into the penguins’ enclosure, and the birds went right for them.

Penguins picked up the pebble of their choosing in their beak and proudly brought it over to their partner.

The zoo caught some of its penguins giving gifts to their partners. TikTok/@detroitzoo
The zoo caught some of its penguins giving gifts to their partners. TikTok/@detroitzoo

TikTok commenters couldn’t get enough of this penguin love fest.

“Imagine painting a rock and then finding out a penguin uses it as an engagement rock,” someone wrote.

“Not me getting engaged the same day as penguins,” another quipped.

“Oh to be a little penguin picking out a pretty rock for my love,” one said.

Gifting pebbles isn’t exclusive to the penguins at the Detroit Zoo.

As the zoo pointed out in its TikTok, the penguins are gifting pebbles during their nesting season — and this is a penguin experience that happens across the world.

According to BBC Earth, penguins will seek out the best and prettiest pebbles to gift to their mates during nesting season.

Similar to a human engagement, the pebble solidifies the relationship between two penguins who are going to start a family together.

The penguins gift pebbles during their nesting season. TikTok/@detroitzoo
The penguins gift pebbles during their nesting season. TikTok/@detroitzoo
Gifting pebbles isn’t exclusive to the penguins at the Detroit Zoo. Facebook/Detroit Zoo
Gifting pebbles isn’t exclusive to the penguins at the Detroit Zoo. Facebook/Detroit Zoo

The pebbles are also used to build nests since they are suitable for cold climates and won’t be destroyed by ice or snow — they keep the eggs and baby penguins safe and sound.

While stealing pebbles from other nests can be common in the penguin community, it’s frowned upon and won’t be tolerated. If penguins are caught stealing, they’re going to end up in a squabble.