Male penguins Harry and Pepper had been so content together they were allowed to incubate and hatch an egg laid by another Magellanic penguin last year, zookeeper Anthony Brown said.
"Of all of the parents that year, they were the best. They took very good care of their chick," Brown told the San Francisco Examiner in a story published Saturday.
Enter the widow Linda, who began courting Harry in her partner's old burrow shortly after his death this past winter, Brown said.
"To be completely anthropomorphizing, Linda seems conniving," Brown said. "She's got her plan. I don't think she was wanting to be a single girl for too long."
Though Harry and Linda have been nesting in recent months, molting season in late summer tends to reshuffle couples, KTVU-TV reported Sunday.
"It'll be interesting to see if Harry spends any of that time with Pepper," Brown said. "We'll have to wait and see."