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London Zoo: Some penguins are gay, get over it

Lily Wakefield June 26, 2019
Gay penguins London Zoo

The mini banner at Penguin beach says: "Some penguins are gay, get over it." (ZSL London Zoo)

London Zoo’s penguin beach has had a makeover for Pride month to celebrate the three same-sex penguin couples that live there.

A mini banner which says “Some penguins are gay, get over it” has been erected in the enclosure, an homage to Stonewall’s iconic “Get Over It” campaign.

Humboldt penguins Ronnie and Reggie are the zoo’s most famous gay residents, but there is also another same-sex male couple and a same-sex female couple.

“Ronnie and Reggie got together in 2014, and famously adopted an egg that was abandoned by another couple a year later,” London Zoo said in a statement.

“The pair shared parenting duties of their chick, Kyton, until he fledged the nest. They remain as strong as ever and are often found snuggled up in their nest box together.

“The duo share their home with 91 other penguins, including fellow same-sex couples Nadja and Zimmer, and Dev and Martin.”

Humboldt Penguins at ZSL London Zoo celebrate Pride
The zoo will be holding a special Pride-themed “Zoo Night” on July 5. (ZSL London Zoo)

A chick named Rainbow was born during Pride in London last year

Another resident of Penguin Beach is Rainbow, a chick that was born during Pride last year, who will be celebrating her first birthday next weekend.

The zoo will be holding a special Pride-themed “Zoo Night” on July 5, where visitors can learn about gender, mating and same-sex couples in the animal kingdom.

There will also be a Rainbow Families day on Sunday June 7, with drag storytelling shows about “being who you are, and loving who you want”.

Penguin Beach is the country’s largest penguin pool; the 1200 square metre pool holds 450,000 litres of water.

It also has a special penguin nursery with a chick incubation unit, and a smaller pool where baby penguins can learn to swim.

Same-sex activities including sex, courtship and co-parenting have been observed in over 450 species of animal, and are fairly common in penguins.

More: Animals

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