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London Zoo celebrates same-sex penguin couples for Pride weekend

'Some penguins are gay. Get over it'

Sabrina Barr
Thursday 27 June 2019 12:08 BST
London Zoo celebrates same-sex penguin couples for Pride weekend
London Zoo celebrates same-sex penguin couples for Pride weekend (ZSL London Zoo)

London Zoo is paying homage to same-sex penguin couples for a celebration being held during the capital's Pride weekend.

On Saturday 6 July, the annual London Pride parade is due to take place, passing from Portland Place to Trafalgar Square.

On Friday 5 July, London Zoo is hosting a Zoo Night to mark the occasion, during which visitors can learn about same-sex couples across the animal kingdom, including among penguins.

One of the zoo's most well-known same-sex penguin couples is Ronnie and Reggie, who have been together since 2014.

In commemoration of their relationship and those of other same-sex penguin couples, a new banner has been placed in the zoo's Penguin Beach, which reads: "Some penguins are gay. Get over it."

'Some penguins are gay. Get over it.' (ZSL London Zoo) (London Zoo)

The banner has been inspired by LGBT+ charity Stonewall's "Get Over It!" campaign, which was launched in 2007 in an effort to combat bullying of LGBT+ students in school.

In 2015, Ronnie and Reggie adopted an egg that had been abandoned by another penguin couple.

They live at London Zoo alongside fellow same-sex couples Nadja and Zimmer, and Dev and Martin.

Last year, a penguin called Rainbow was hatched during Pride weekend, and named after the rainbow-coloured Pride flag.

In October 2018, a gay penguin couple at Sydney's Sea Life Aquarium welcomed their first chick, having fostered the egg together.

The couple, Sphen and Magic, bonded ahead of the 2018 breeding season.

In the early 20th century, British Antarctic explorer George Murray Levick documented the sexual activity of Adelie penguins, noting that penguins engaged in homosexual activity.

In addition to the Pride-themed Zoo Night, London Zoo is also celebrating Pride weekend by hosting a show on Sunday 7 July called "Rainbow Families".

The storytelling show will be hosted by drag artist Mama G from pantomime company Petite Pantos, who will tell stories about "being who you are, and loving who you want".

The ZSL's LGBT+ society, Team Pride, will also be taking part in the London Pride parade.

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