Monday, 22 July 2019

Let's talk about gay penguins: Munich zoo joins Pride week


JULY 13, 2019
by Pauline Curtet
Biologists say giraffes are bisexual. In some groups, 90 percent of the acts observed are in fact homosexual in nature
Organisers of this year's Gay Pride week in Munich have a group of rather wild partners—penguins, giraffes and lions at the city zoo where tours are being run about same-sex love in the animal kingdom.
The Munich zoo has joined Pride week with an unusual look into the intimate lives of all creatures great and small, seeking to boost tolerance among humans.
"It is important for us to talk about" homosexuality in the animal kingdom and show that same-sex love has its place in Nature, said Munich zoo spokesman Dennis Spaeth.
"Because unfortunately in Germany we see more and more people from the reactionary right attacking LGBTQI rights."
While even mostly-Catholic Bavaria has grown more accepting and lawmakers legalised gay marriage in 2017, non-heterosexuals are sometimes still a target for violence.
Police recorded 91 attacks based on the victim's sexual orientation last year.
In the safe confines of the zoo, the first stop on the Pride tour is the giraffes. The blotchy animals spare visitors only occasional curious glances from behind their long eyelashes as they enjoy a meal of hay.
"Giraffes are bisexual. In some groups, 90 percent of the acts observed are in fact homosexual in nature," explained biologist Guenter Strauss.
The Munich zoo has joined Pride week with an unusual look into the intimate lives of all creatures great and small, seeking to boost tolerance among humans
A few enclosures down, there is little to distinguish a male-male couple of black-faced Humboldt penguins squatting together from other, mixed pairs.
That is until the guide points out that with no egg to care for, the pair has taken to brooding a rock instead.
This is no one-off fling, as "penguins conduct homosexual relationships that can last a whole lifetime, something very rare in the animal kingdom," said Strauss.

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