Love in black and white: Farm’s pair of gay Humboldt penguins celebrate their first anniversary together
- Peso and Squaddle coupled up after shunning females looking to mate
- A year on, two-year-old Humboltd penguins only have eyes for each other
- Staff gave couple a false egg during breeding season but they threw it out
These gay penguins have been together for a year, but are still as loved-up as ever.
Peso and Squaddle, two-year-old Humboldt penguins living at Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo in Pembrokeshire, coupled up a year ago after shunning females looking to mate.
While their fellow penguins prepare for breeding season, the pair only have eyes for each other as they get ready to celebrate their first anniversary this month.
Happy anniversary! Peso (right) and Squaddle (left) got together after shunning females looking to mate
Two’s company! Zoo staff had given the couple a false egg during breeding season, but they threw it away
Staff at Folly Farm say the young lovers have no interest in procreating.
They had been given a false egg, so that they wouldn’t feel left out during breeding season – but they threw it out of their love nest.
Penguin keeper Catrin Thomas said: ‘We’re approaching breeding season and at around two years old, penguins become sexually mature, so we thought this year they may show some interest but they haven’t as yet.
‘All the other penguins are busy making nests at the top of the penguin beach, scrambling around hurriedly and gathering twigs, but Peso and Squaddle stay by the pool preening each other.’
Penguin posers: The Humboldts, who live at Folly Farm, Pembrokeshire, are celebrating their first anniversary
They only have eyes for each other! The pair have no interest in procreating and threw the egg of their nest
She added: ‘Peso and Squaddle don’t seem to be interested in anything else but each other, and certainly not procreating.
‘They’re just enjoying each other’s company.’
Tim Morphew, Folly Farm’s zoo manager, said: ‘We wanted to mark the occasion and the year anniversary of Peso and Squaddle getting together.
‘Everybody who comes to Folly Farm says theirs is a really sweet love story and we wanted to celebrate the fact they were still going strong a year on.’
Humboltd penguins, who are monogamous and mate for life, can take a partner aged between two and eight-years-old.
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Penguins have been observed engaging in homosexual behaviour from as early as 1911.
George Murray Levick documented the sexual behaviour of Adélie penguins in Antarctica, but his notes were considered too indecent to publish at the time. They were rediscovered and published in the journal Polar Record a century later in 2012.
More recently, a pair of chinstrap penguins called Roy and Silo became a famous ‘gay penguin’ couple after the New York Times published an article about them in 2004.
The penguins, who live in New York’s Central Park Zoo, were noticed performing mating rituals in 1998, by staff – although they were never seen to perform sex acts.
They were then given an egg to hatch and raise as their own – a practice copied by zoos across the world. Their chick, named Tango, grew up to form a same sex relationship with another female penguin.
Their story was the basis for a controversial children’s book in 2005 called ‘And Tango Makes Three’. But the couple later split, and Silo paired with a female penguin.
Last year, a pair of Humboldt penguins, called Jumbs and Kermit, from Wingham Wildlife Park in Kent, adopted the chick of a female called Isobel who had to abandon her egg to find food.
Staff at Wingham Wildlife Park said they were the two ‘best penguin parents’ the zoo has ever had.
But a French study in 2010 said penguins only have gay ‘flings’ because they are lonely, but ultimately end up in a heterosexual couple.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2991709/Love-black-white-Farm-s-pair-gay-Humboldt-penguins-celebrate-anniversary-together.html#ixzz3UGKQ2kvW
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