How do you a change a man?
The question asked on countless magazine covers and daytime talk shows is now the unenviable task shared by Thandiwey and Farai, two African penguins charged with breaking up the Toronto Zoo’s most popular bromance.
Buddy and Pedro, the same-sex penguin pair who became international celebrities this week after their story went viral online, will be separated sometime this month for mating purposes as part of a Species Survival Plan.
Farai, 3, will be paired off with Buddy, 21; and Thandiwey, 4, will mate with Pedro, 10.
Although they do not have a sexual relationship, Buddy and Pedro have been inseparable since meeting at a zoo in Toledo, Ohio.
Thandiwey and Farai are sometimes seen trailing behind Buddy and Pedro, but the males have not shown any reciprocal interest — their keepers say — always keeping the ladies on the periphery.
As Buddy and Pedro’s popularity has grown, so has the campaign to keep the penguins together.
More than 500 people have signed a petition calling on the zoo not to separate the pair, while nearly 300 others have “liked” the Facebook group “Do not separate Pedro and Buddy: Toronto Zoo gay penguins.”
Thandiwey and Farai are now cast as homewrecking villains, while the zoo itself is also being vilified.