START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
5,745,131 people care about Animal Welfare

Zoo Splits Up Gay Penguin Couple (Video)

Zoo Splits Up Gay Penguin Couple (Video)

A pair of African penguins, Buddy and Pedro, who are inseparable and “pair bonding’’ at Toronto Zoo are to be split up to do what they need to do for their endangered species: mate.

The move to split them up is part of a species survival plan among zoos.

“They do courtship and mating behaviors that females and males would do,’’ one keeper told the Toronto Star.

Those behaviors include making a “braying’’ sound, almost like a donkey, as a mating call. They defend their territory, preen each other, and are constantly standing alone together.

Every night Buddy and Pedro pair off together.

“It’s a complicated issue, but they seem to be in a loving relationship of some sort,’’ says Joe Torzsok, chair of the Toronto zoo board.

Buddy and Pedro arrived from Toledo, Ohio, where they formed a connection as members of a bachelor flock.

The species is found on the coast and islands of southern Africa and Namibia.

The present population is probably less than 10% of that in 1900, when there was estimated to be about 1.5 million birds on Dassen Island alone. By 1956, the population had fallen to roughly half that, and had halved again by the late 1970s, when there was an estimated 220,000 adult birds. By the late 1980s, the number had dropped to about 194,000 and in the early 1990s, there was an estimated 179,000 adult birds. Breeding no longer occurs at 10 localities where it formerly occurred or has been suspected to occur.

The major current threats include competition with commercial fisheries for pelagic fish prey, and oil pollution. Given an annual rate of decline of about 2% per year, there is considerable concern about the long-term viability of African Penguins in the wild.

Homosexual behaviour has been observed in close to 1,500 species, ranging from primates to gut worms, and is well documented for 500 of them.

An award-winning children’s book ‘And Tango Makes Three‘ is based on the true story of Roy and Silo, two male Chinstrap Penguins who raised a chick together in New York’s Central Park Zoo. The book is listed on the 15 Most Controversial Picture Books because of the constant challenges made to it by parents and organized Christian groups.

Related stories:

“And Tango Makes Three” Tops List of Banned Books

Knit a Sweater, Save a Penguin

Abandoned Penguin Chick Fed By Penguin Puppet (VIDEO)

Read more: , , ,

Image source Toronto Zoo Say It With Penguins

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it


+ add your own
3:22PM PST on Nov 28, 2012

I would hate to see these two penguins split up. Its difficult enough for animals living in a controlled environment without making it worse. I do agree with Nancy L. If the zoo does split this pair up and the male penquins refuse to mate with the opposite sex, then they should be put back together. It's time for the people on this planet to stop trying to control our natural environment and those species that share this planet with us.

5:07AM PST on Nov 18, 2012

do animals have to live according to human preconceptions now? WTH is that? let animals be, please!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8:12AM PST on Nov 15, 2012

And so??? Leave them alone to enjoy the loving companionship they share. They are responding to their natural instincts. What's with meddling in the captive's lives? What good is labelling these creatures homosexual? Let's get real!

"Homosexual behaviour has been observed in close to 1,500 species, ranging from primates to gut worms, and is well documented for 500 of them."
Read more:

10:44PM PST on Jan 30, 2012

So their gay - So what? They are happy - aren't they?

11:26PM PST on Dec 23, 2011

Soul mates are not necessarily of the opposite sex or even the same species. They are meant to be as they are and should continue to be together. Love is love, no matter how it is presented to the world or in private.

5:03PM PST on Dec 9, 2011

Leave them alone!

12:57PM PST on Dec 9, 2011

they need to be letf alone they are happy they belong together they will be great parents. better them somehumanes.

1:19AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

Um, what part of gay are we not understanding that won't mate with a female to produce offspring? Leave them together. They're mates.

12:50AM PST on Nov 17, 2011

Geez, the penguins are gay. Leave them alone - how are they harming you? They're not! Is it so hard for people to let animals just be?

9:51PM PST on Nov 13, 2011

Another bastion of Christianity falls. No gays in the animal kingdom.
These two have already been disrespected, they're in a zoo. Now comes insult on top of injury. It's possible they might well die without each other. What, they're gay so let's jerk them around?
Are we so irresponsible that we can't even have a wilderness, even if it saves our lives? The planet?

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

It is impossible to leave when it's YOUR place and you can't call police because if you do and there…

Let's hope we can bring down monsanto and their GMO's loaded with roundup and ever more increasingly…

Now think about all the others in danger.

ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK


Civil Rights


Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights


Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!