View Full Version : Gay Penguins Resist 'Aversion Therapy'

02-11-2005, 08:27 PM
Posted: February 11, 2005 5:01 pm. ET

(Bremen, Germany) Attempts by a Germany zoo to "convert its gay penguins to heterosexuality have failed the zoo's director said Friday.

On Tuesday 365Gay.com reported that the Bremerhaven Zoo had imported four female penguins from Sweden which it hoped would split up its three gay penguin couples and turn the birds "straight". (story)

But the six gay penguins were not interested in dallying with the other sex, remaining faithful to their same-sex partners.

"The relationships were apparently too strong," said zoo Director Heike Kueck.

The gay males were separated from their mates and one by one the females were introduced. The males pined for their mates until they were reunited.

The three gay couples are part of the zoo's 10 penguin exhibit. The others are apparently straight and coupled. But, for more than a year zookeepers were mystified why the three couples didn't have any offspring.

They did the usual courting dances, built nests together, appeared to have sex, and still no little penguins. Finally they did a DNA test to see if there was something genetically wrong. That is when they discovered the three couples were all male.

Kueck called the attempt to get the penguins to mate with females a form of "aversion therapy", a practice that has never worked successfully in humans.

Nevertheless she said that another attempt will be made in the spring of 2006.

Gay penguins are not unusual. New York's Central Park Zoo, has Roy and Silo, who have been together for several years. As with one of the couples in Germany Roy and Silo put a rock simulating an egg in their nest and sat on it, keeping it warm in the folds of their abdomens. (story)

Similar attempts to introduce females to Roy and Silo also failed although the two no longer spend time together. Roy for a while spent time with a female penguin but ended early this year.

Gay penguins have also been found in Japan. Scientists at Rikkyo University in Tokyo, found about 20 same-sex pairs at 16 major aquariums and zoos in Japan. (story)

Following the 365Gay.com story on the German penguins the Bremerhaven Zoo was barraged with emails from LGBT groups.

"All sorts of gay and lesbian associations have been e-mailing and calling in to protest," Kuek said.

link (http://www.365gay.com/newscon05/02/021105penguins.htm)