Britain’s only gay flamingos Carlos and Fernando, are celebrating their fifth anniversary together with their adopted children at Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Gloucestershire.
The pair surprised staff at the wildlife park after they came out five years ago and began to engage in a series of complex mating rituals. The pink birds have been inseparable ever since and have even raised chicks together after they stole eggs from neighbouring straight couples.
Whilst Flamingos are generally monogamous during the annual breeding periods, they tend to swap partners each year. Therefore, claim the birds’ keepers, their enduring love is somewhat unique.
“They only have eyes for each other,” said Nigel Jarrett, a keeper at the nature reserve.
“I have never seen two male flamingos fall for each other before, although homosexuality is not uncommon in the animal kingdom.
“Carlos and Fernando have been together for five years and seem very happy. They will probably stay together for the rest of their lives.”
Mr Jarret added that they appear to have been accepted by the other birds in the flock:”‘They are both large adult males, so as a partnership they are quite formidable.
‘They are not picked on by the other birds. If anything, they are afforded more respect They are very good parents and behave just as the heterosexual birds do when rearing their young.”
The pair have together raised three chicks.