Maybe Pedro and Buddy, the same-sex penguin pair at the Toronto Zoo, might want to think about hiring agents.
The story about the cute and cuddly-looking male African penguins who are inseparable, has gone viral on the Internet. Pedro and Buddy’s tale, first reported in the Toronto Star, is being carried by outlets such as Time magazine, ABC and the Daily Mail in the U.K. Taiwan’s NMA TV has even produced an animated video about the pair.
“Gay penguins to be separated’’ reads a headline on the ABC News website.
The Toronto Zoo plans to separate Buddy and Pedro to mate with other female African penguins there, because the penguins are endangered. Buddy and Pedro have great genes for breeding.
A video of the penguins uploaded to YouTube had more than 70,000 views by yesterday evening.
The story has captured the imagination of so many people, said Bill Rapley, the zoo’s executive director of conservation, education and wildlife.
Before Buddy, 20, met Pedro, 10, in an all-male flock in Toledo, Ohio, Buddy had a female partner for 10 years and even produced a few offspring, said Tom Mason, the Toronto Zoo’s curator of birds.
Since “pair-bonding’’ in Ohio and later moving to Toronto in May to join a group of 10 other male and female African penguins for breeding purposes, Buddy and Pedro have barely left each other’s side.
But in a few weeks they’ll be paired up with younger females in the group, Buddy with Farai, 3, and Pedro with Thandiwey, 4.