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Zoo Footage of Male Penguins Picking Out Painted Pebbles Goes Viral — Here's What They're Really Doing

Zoo Footage of Male Penguins Picking Out Painted Pebbles Goes Viral — Here's What They're Really Doing

The sweet gestures were caught on camera at the Detroit Zoo

Mating season is extra special at the Detroit Zoological Society.

Footage of the zoo's penguins this mating season is going viral as people admire the sweet gestures behind the incredible creatures.

The video shows zookeepers bringing in decorated stones, with paint that's non-toxic to animals, that were painted by their "Tots and Teens" program.

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The penguins approached the stones and took care in choosing one they liked. Once they had a pebble securely in tow, the penguin took off, waddling or swimming over to their chosen mate and delivering the decorated treasure.

According to oceana.org, male penguins find the smoothest pebble to give to a female as a gift. If she likes the offering, she'll place it in the nest, showing that the two are working to build together. The penguin couple then continue building their nest in preparation for the eggs.

The Detroit Zoo is home to The Polk Penguin Conservation Center, a 33,000-square-foot facility with a 326,000-gallon, 25-foot-deep aquatic area where visitors can watch as the penguins explore their habitat.

<p>JMichael-Photography/Getty Images</p><p> </p> Stock image of penguins at the zoo

JMichael-Photography/Getty Images

Stock image of penguins at the zoo

"The way they picked so carefully 🥲," one commenter wrote on the original Instagram post.

"I'd be sooo proud if they chose my pebble to gift their mate ❤️ i hope the kids that painted get to see if their rocks were chosen ❤️," another shared.

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