Lifestyle & Belief

Toronto's "gay penguins" break up


A pair of African penguins snooze at Boulders Beach near Simon's Town, South Africa.


Erin Conway-Smith

Buddy and Pedro, the Toronto Zoo's "gay penguins," have split, according to reports.

The Canadian zoo's decision separate the pair of male African penguins, in order to encourage the endangered birds to mate with females, sparked an international outcry.

Eventually the zoo promised that Buddy and Pedro would be reunited after mating time.

More from GlobalPost: Canada's gay penguins to be reunited by spring

But now it seems "a female has come between one of Canada’s celebrity couples," the Canadian Press reported.

Buddy, who is 21 and had a female mate for 10 years before she died, has successfully mated with a female named Farai.

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

According to the CP:

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.

Buddy and Pedro had formed a close bond while part of a "bachelor flock" at Pittsburgh’s National Aviary, and remained tight after their transfer to the Toronto Zoo, displaying courtship and mating behavior towards each other.

Because of this they were dubbed the "gay penguins," although zoo keepers said their relationship was not necessarily sexual.

More from GlobalPost: "Gay penguins" separation at Toronto Zoo sparks furor