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Toronto zoo's 'gay penguin' gets a girlfriend

Success for Buddy but his ‘friend’ Pedro has not yet been as lucky…

File photo of an African penguin
File photo of an African penguin
Image: Thomas Kienzle/AP/Press Association Images

ONE OF THE penguins who hit the headlines last month after he was separated from his male buddy whom he was unusually close to at Toronto Zoo has now mated with a female.

Buddy, 21, had developed an unusually close relationship, described by zoo keepers as a “social bond”, with Pedro, 10, at Toronto Zoo leading to jokes and speculation that the pair were in fact a gay couple.

The story went viral online and comedians joked of a ‘Brokeback Iceberg’ situation. Although zoo officials distanced themselves from such talk, they decided to separate the pair as the African penguins are an endangered species and were required to mate with females.

“It’s our job to be matchmakers to get them to go with some females,” said Tom Mason, the zoo’s curator of birds and invertebrates.

Now, it is reported that since going their separate ways Buddy has mated successfully with a female. It’s not the first time he has done so having previously fathered offspring with a partner he had for 10 years before she died.

Things are not going as well for Pedro but not for the lack of trying according to the Guardian. The pair will rejoin the general population once they have both successfully mated.

Over to you Pedro.

- additional reporting from AP

Previously: ‘Gay penguins’ separated at Toronto zoo >

Here’s a slideshow of penguins from around the world

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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