Now that Toronto's penguin couple, Buddy and Pedro, have moved on to courting females, it seems their platonic relationship was more of a bromance than a gay romance. It's only been twelve days since the scientists at the two split the "gay" penguin couple for
their own good as a part of an endangered species breeding program, and Buddy has already mated with a female penguin while Pedro has been trying. "Scientists say that when a female shows up, that often spells the end for same-sex male bonds in penguins and other animals. And vice versa for same-sex female pairings," reports the Toronto Star. The Guardian adds that zoo curator Tom Mason described Buddy and Pedro's bond as social not sexual. But it was that bond which earned them their gay penguin celebrity status with Brokeback Iceberg jokes on Jimmy Kimmel, fanfare around the world, and the ensuing heartbreak when zoo officials announced they would split the two up for the sake of their species. The Toronto Star rubs salt in the wounds of those true romantics, writing, "Fans worldwide who have been riveted by Buddy and Pedro's story will be saddened to hear the two recently got into a fight as they sat across from one another in their respective nests ... Up to now, Buddy and Pedro had shown little amorous interest in the young females in the flock, preferring to huddle for hours on end beside a wooden post in their enclosure." At the time of their split, and when everyone still thought they were exclusively gay, there were plans to reunite the two (who had been sharing a nest for a year or so) in the spring. But now that we know Buddy and Pedro are more fragile bromance than enduring Brokeback, we might be more inclined to just leave them be, like zoo officials could've done in the first place.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.