Two gay King penguins are being moved to Hamburg so they can stay together

Stan and Ollie were dropped from a breeding programme after proving more interested in mating with each other

Kayleigh Lewis
Sunday 17 April 2016 17:49 BST
Two king penguins at Hamburg Zoo (file pic)
Two king penguins at Hamburg Zoo (file pic) (Margarethe Wichert / Getty Images)

Two gay King penguins have been moved from Berlin Zoo to Hamburg’s Hagenbeck Zoo so they can be together.

Stan and Olli were originally introduced to Berlin Zoo to breed as part of the European Conservation Programme, but it didn’t take long for zookeepers to realise they only had eyes for each other.

“They’re gay, as far as we know. They never bred. And when it came to courtship, they only mated with one another,” Berlin Zoo spokeswoman Christiane Reiss told the Local, in Germany.

Stan and Olli - who the website says will now be named Kalle and Grobi instead - will join Juan and Carlos, another homosexual penguin couple who are already at Hamburg Zoo, where they will no longer be expected to reproduce.

There are many examples of male penguins paring off with other males, especially in captivity. In 2014 two male Humboldt penguins at Kent Wildlife Park – called Jumbs and Kermitadopted a young chick after its father refused to incubate it.

In the same year Penelope and Missy broke the mould as Ireland’s first lesbian penguin couple. It is considered much more unusual for female penguins to pair up, the Irish Examiner observed.

But Roy and Silo, two Chinstrap penguins from New York Central Park zoo, are probably the most famous gay penguins in the world. A book about the couple adopting a baby penguin called Tango after hatching it from a rejected egg became the third most banned book in the US, after it was accused of promoting homosexuality and being ‘anti-family’, as reported in Pink News.

Sadly Roy and Silo didn’t have an especially happy ending though, as Silo rekindled his interest in female penguins.

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