I really do wish that I had come up with the idea of Gay Penguins. Ever since Roy and Silo, the Chinstrap Penguins first 'came out' in Central Park Zoo back in 2004 the story, or some very similar to it have not gone away. 'Wendell' and 'Cass' at the New York Aquarium were another pair, but did not hit the press big time, it was a much quieter affair. Bremerhaven Zoo's penguins most certainly were not as they had three 'Gay' pairs, the most famous of which were 'Z' and 'Vielpunkt'. Not forgetting 'Harry' and 'Pepper' in the San Francisco Zoo.
Roy and Silo were both males of course but what of Lesbian Penguins? Well female to female relationships do exist as well. I do recall a couple of penguins at the Welsh Mountain Zoo who in the early nineties paired up, produced two eggs and with a little bit of help reared two chicks.
As years passed both parent birds died and on autopsy were both found to be female. Was I amazed? Not especially but it did lead to a bit of extra work trying to sort out past ARKS records. The real pity though was that I did not know at the time because I daresay a pair of Lesbian Penguins would have had as much public appeal as Roy and Silo.
Not everybody is too happy about Gay though. They used to mean one and the same thing when I was a boy...happy that is. Today we have the book 'and Tango makes Three' being banned from schools in certain US states. This is the story of the chick which Roy and Silo reared. Tango was a female incidentally and she had lesbian tendencies because she later paired up with another female called Tanuzi.
The fact that fertile eggs are being produced at all suggests that not all is quite as it seems in the world of penguins. AC/DC, infidelity, a one night stand? I don't suppose penguins are that different to us after all.
You can order 'and Tango makes Three' by clicking on the link below. It would make a great gift for your more 'up tight' friends and colleagues....and for anybody really.
Zoo News Digest
The Zoo Professionals Book Store
if you are looking for a book. This is an Amazon affiliate and you will get a good deal
you can subscribe to the largest and longest established zoo related ezine