US & Canada

Toronto's 'gay' penguins split as one mates with female

Toronto Zoo penguins Buddy (centre) and Pedro (right) with female penguin (left) 8 November 2011
Image caption Buddy (centre) takes an interest in Pedro (right), snubbing a female (left)

Toronto's so-called gay penguins, Buddy and Pedro, have officially split, say zoo keepers, after one of them found a female mate.

They were separated last month by zoo officials who said they needed to reproduce because African penguins are an endangered species.

Buddy has now paired with a female, but Pedro has yet to get lucky, though it is not said to be for lack of trying.

Buddy and Pedro shared a nest for about one year after arriving at the zoo.

Videos of the pair became hugely popular on the internet.

Tom Mason, Toronto Zoo's curator of birds and invertebrates, told a news conference on Monday that less than three days after Buddy and Pedro's "bromance" was ended, the former successfully paired with a female, Farai, on 19 November.

Pedro has been chasing another female, Thandiwey, for several weeks, although she has so far shown little interest.

Mr Mason said Buddy and Pedro's relationship had been social, not sexual, and that both would probably end up settling with females.

Buddy, 21, had a female partner for a decade and produced chicks.

But Pedro, 10, has yet to produce any offspring.

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