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African penguins are photographed swimming around their enclosure Monday at the Metro Toronto Zoo where a press conference was held to discuss the zoo's breeding program. Six other penguins, not part of this group, are an important part of the zoo's Species Survival Plan and zoo officials are hopeful penguin chicks will be born as early as January, 2012. The breeding program is integral to survival of the endangered species. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail/Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)
African penguins are photographed swimming around their enclosure Monday at the Metro Toronto Zoo where a press conference was held to discuss the zoo's breeding program. Six other penguins, not part of this group, are an important part of the zoo's Species Survival Plan and zoo officials are hopeful penguin chicks will be born as early as January, 2012. The breeding program is integral to survival of the endangered species. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail/Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

SPLIT

Toronto Zoo's 'gay penguins' go their separate ways Add to ...

It appears a female has come between one of Canada’s celebrity couples.

Toronto Zoo officials say same-sex penguins Buddy and Pedro have been officially separated and Buddy has mated with a female.

Pedro has yet to get lucky, but officials say it’s not for a lack of trying.

The endangered birds’ separation was one zoo officials say was necessary, but their doomed love story took on a life of its own as the two African penguins became an Internet sensation last month.

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Zoo workers had described their bond as social – not sexual – saying the two simply had each other’s backs and preferred each other’s company to that of other penguins.

Curator Tom Mason says when the birds rejoin the general population, they are likely to stay with their female matches, and their bond will be no more.

The pair, which came to be known as Toronto’s “gay penguins,” garnered a huge following, with one newspaper dubbing theirs the “love that dare squawk its name.”

Buddy, who is 21, had a female mate for 10 years and produced some offspring before his partner died.

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