Honestly, if I could go out my door and find this next to my building, it would almost make living through the excesses of this holiday worth it.
Archive for December, 2011
By now you’ve no doubt heard the sad saga of Buddy and Pedro, the African penguins who were once inseparable to the point that people who don’t understand animal behavior were convinced of the notion that the two male penguins were gay — even though that’s patently absurd.
No, not absurd because there is no homosexual behavior in the animal kingdom. There’s tons of it. However, discerning a homosexual romantic and emotional orientation in non-human animals is another thing altogether. We have no way yet of knowing whether some animals are actually gay, or whether they’re just setting up house and exhibiting mating behaviors toward the nearest thing to which they feel attached. That might seem the definition of gay to some, which is fine. But people also ascribed for their own uses romantic feelings between the two, and therein lies the danger of politicizing these matters.
When zookeepers at the Toronto Zoo, home of Buddy and Pedro, decided to separate the two and pair them with females in the hopes of producing more of the endangered species, many people had a hissy fit because they felt the two birds were in love with one another and were being split by meanie heterosexist wildlife biologists at the zoo who didn’t understand that gay love is just as important as straight love. There were even popular Facebook groups created to protest the zoo’s actions.
Given the dangers of reading human emotions onto wild animals, you likely know how this turns out:
We know a lot of passionate relationships can end badly — but this fast? Guys, say it ain’t so!
The loveable same-sex pair of endangered African penguins at the Toronto Zoo, the ones with the international profile and the high-octane genes, have been separated from each other by their handlers and paired up with females as part of a species survival program.
Buddy, 21, was paired with Farai, 3, on Nov. 19 and breeding activity was observed, the zoo said Monday. Pedro, 10, was introduced to females on Dec. 1 and has been seen “constantly” courting them, including Thandiwey, the one the zoo wants him to mate with. But no solid bonding has yet happened.
Easy come, easy go, apparently.
Scientists say that when a female shows up, that often spells the end for same-sex male bonds in penguins and other animals. And vice versa for same-sex female pairings.
Of course, just as much as gay activists and their supporters were having a field day with the idea of splitting up the pair, now right-wing Christians will no doubt use what has transpired as proof that homosexuals can change if they just meet the right woman.
Sigh. Sometimes I just want to crawl under the blankets and not come out until my head stops hurting.