It’s a romance suited for the pages of a children’s book...Buddy and Pedro are two male African penguins at the Toronto Zoo who seem to have a connection — a very special, loving connection — that has zookeepers wondering if their relationship is more than just a bromance.
According to the Toronto Star, zookeepers have noticed that although Buddy, 20, and Pedro, 10, swim and play with the other penguins in their enclosure by day, they pair off and nest together at night as well as exhibit other telltale mating behaviors, such as touching, making braying sounds and defending their territory.
Does this mean that Buddy and Pedro are gay? Not exactly, as the term doesn’t normally apply to animals. But according to research from the University of California, Berkeley, birds — and other animals, for that matter — are known to form same-sex relationships.
In fact, this isn’t the first time a same-sex penguin romance has caught the public’s attention. In 2009, two male penguins at New York City’s Central Park Zoo, Roy and Silo, incubated an egg together and ended up raising the chick, Tango. A children’s book — And Tango Makes Three — was written based on the story, and it later became a best seller (it was included on TIME’s list of the top 10 controversial books).
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