Pic: ZSL London Zoo
The ZSL London Zoo is getting a Pride makeover, including honouring its gay penguin couples ahead of the city’s annual Pride celebration.
In particular, the zoo’s most famous gay residents, Humboldt penguins Ronnie and Reggie, are being highlighted.
Zookeepers have made a special mini banner for their Penguin Beach home paying homage to LGBTQ rights group Stonewall’s groundbreaking ‘get over it.’ campaign. The banner reads: “Some penguins are gay. Get over it.”
Ronnie and Reggie got together in 2014, and famously adopted an egg that was abandoned by another couple a year later. The pair shared parenting duties of their chick, Kyton, until he was grown.They remain as strong as ever and are often found snuggled up in their nest box together.
The duo share their home with 91 other Humboldt penguins, including fellow same-sex couples Nadja and Zimmer and Dev and Martin, as well as one-year-old Rainbow who hatched during Pride celebrations last year.
On top of Zoo Nights’ packed schedule of activities, visitors will be able to learn about gender and mating in the animal kingdom at a Pride-themed talk, where they’ll discover just how common same-sex pairings are – from penguins and pandas to goats and giraffes.
Zoo Nights may be just for grown-ups but the whole family can join in with the Zoo’s Pride celebrations on Sunday 7 July with Rainbow Families – a storytelling show hosted by drag artist Mama G from Petite Pantos, sharing positive tales about “being who you are, and loving who you want”.
ZSL’s LGBT+ society, Team Pride, will also be proudly marching in the London Pride Parade on Saturday 6 July.
Last year, Australian gay penguin couple Sphen and Magic made headlines around the world after incubating and guarding a foster egg and raising the chick that hatched.
Contrary to claims that homosexuality is ‘unnatural’ by opponents of the LGBTQ community, same-sex attraction in nature is not uncommon and has been documented in over 1,500 animal species.