Gay vultures say goodbye to their successful adopted child
Two gay vultures have said goodbye to their chick as it was released into the wild.
The griffon vulture was given to the couple when it was an egg, and their care led to Artis Amsterdam Royal Zoo’s first successful hatching in five years.
The chick has now been set free in Sardinia, less than a year into its life, as part of a European conservation programme called Life Under Griffon Wings, BBC News has reported.
The vultures adopted the egg after it was abandoned by its biological parents.
The birds, who have been together for much of their lives, took turns sitting on the egg until it hatched.
Zookeeper Job van Tol told the BBC that the pair was “a very tight couple,” adding: “We have had them for some years.
“They always build a nest together, bond and mate together.”
The zoo has said it is not unusual for its animals – especially birds – to form same-sex couples, but that this is the first time it has played host to such a pair hatching an egg.
Rembrandt Sutorius, the zoo’s director, went to Sardinia to set their child – and another vulture – free.
He said: “We could see the vultures floating above the area – a truly magnificent sight.”
It is of course not abnormal for many animals – hundreds, in fact – to engage in homosexual activities or partnerships.
Dogs, for instance, certainly have gay sex.
Last year, a polar bear called Szenja died just weeks after her same-sex partner of 20 years was transferred to a different zoo.
The bear, who was left alone at SeaWorld San Diego after her companion, Snowflake, was moved to Pittsburgh Zoo, died of a broken heart, animals rights charity PETA claimed.
The bears had lived together for almost all 21 years of Szenja’s life.
A zoo in New Zealand also revealed last year that its lesbian penguin couple was raising a chick together.
The 24-year-old penguins, named Thelma and Louise, fostered the chick after its birth mother was left by her partner, leaving her struggling to raise the chick.
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And two gay penguins at a Chinese zoo were exposed last year for stealing eggs from straight couples.
The authorities at Polar Land in Harbin said the gay penguins had a strong instinctive urge to become parents.
Watch a video of the vulture being released below: