Female Splits Up 'Gay' Penguins

It's definitely over for Toronto Zoo's Buddy and Pedro

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 13, 2011 8:36 AM CST

(Newser) – The penguin love affair dubbed "Brokeback Iceberg" by Jimmy Kimmel is now definitely over. Pedro and Buddy, the "gay" African penguins the Toronto Zoo decided to split up last month, are now both more interested in females, the BBC reports. Buddy, who shared a nest with Pedro for a year, paired with a female within 72 hours of the split, zookeepers say. Pedro, meanwhile, has been pursuing a female for weeks without success.

"Pedro is very ready to go, per se, but his prospective mate is a little standoffish," the zoo's curator of birds tells the National Post. The zoo, he says, decided to separate the pair for the sake of the species, whose numbers have dwindled from 1.2 million in 1910 to 50,000 today. As long as there plenty of females around, the curator doubts Buddy and Pedro will try to rekindle their romance. “We don’t think of gay penguins,” he says. “They’re bundled pairs. They break up in the wild, they break up in captivity."

With the number of African penguins dwindling fast, zookeepers decided to split up a pair of males who had nested together.
With the number of African penguins dwindling fast, zookeepers decided to split up a pair of males who had nested together.   (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
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