Tuesday 29 July, 2014

Toronto’s gay penguin pair now pursuing female partners

Published On: Tue, Dec 13th, 2011 | Marine Biology | By BioNews

The famous pair of male African penguins in a Toronto Zoo, whose same-sex bond made worldwide headlines this fall, have now started pursuing female partners after they were separated in November.

Buddy and Pedro, were separated so they could mate with females.

Prior to their separation, the couple swam together and even shared a nest.

But Tom Mason, Toronto Zoo’s curator of birds and invertebrates, said that Buddy has taken to breeding with a female while Pedro is pursuing a female mate but facing a case of unrequited love.

“Pedro is ready to go but his prospective mate is quite shy. She’s not quite ready to go, but they’re beginners,” CBC News quoted Mason as saying.

Pedro and Buddy were relocated to Toronto last year from Toledo, Ohio.

Buddy, who is 21, had a female partner for 10 years and produced some offspring but his partner died. Pedro, 10, has yet to produce offspring.

Mason added that it’s quite common for penguins to form a non-sexual, same-sex “social bond,” especially in the absence of females.

“When the opposite pairs do show up, the same sex bond tends to break down,” he said.

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