November 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm EST | by Phil Reese
Toronto zoo to split up same-sex penguin couple

An African penguin similar to Pedro & Buddy. (photo by BrokenSphere via

TORONTO — Two “inseparable” male penguins named Pedro and Buddy, who zookeepers say have “bonded,” are slated to be isolated from one another in an effort to encourage them to mate with the female penguins at the zoo.

The two penguins are both on loan from Toledo, Ohio, where they first bonded. Pedro and Buddy are part of a rare, endangered breed of African penguin that conservationists urge are destined for extinction soon, according to New York-based LGBT blog, The New Civil Rights Movement. Zookeepers have described Buddy and Pedro as exhibiting “courtship and mating behaviors,” normally expressed between mating penguins.

Conservationists at the zoo insist that the penguins will be returned to one another after each have successfully paired up with a female penguin for insemination. However, several LGBT advocates have expressed some concern about separating the couple for the sake of forcing the two to breed.

“I’m supportive of keeping our population of engendered animals healthy,” Daily Kos writer Scott Wooledge told the Blade. “The zoologiests are only doing what they think is best for the species.”

Wooledge believes, however, that one issue that zoo officials may not have taken into account is the ‘traumatizing’ effect of separating to two partnered penguings.

“Animals have feelings and moods and it might be stressful for them to find themselves… way from the companionship that they are used to,” Wooledge continued. “That could undermine their attempts to get them to mate.”


  • Being a US citizen of part Canadian genes and being over 70 I have noted in the last three years
    Canadians are all about the dollar C$. My home in the Bahamas now has an increase in the electric
    bill of nearly triple since the Emera Corp of Canada bought out the previous company.

    So if the penguins are now pressed to go against their natural instincts – what’s left to turn a “buck”?

  • why don’t they just implant the sperm from the two males into two females. it would probably have a higher success rate and you wouldn’t have to force the two males to separate.

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