Two penguins living in the Berlin Zoo have been moved into a male only penguin sanctuary so the two lovebirds can live together as their true selves.
The penguins have been recognised as a gay penguin couple and now call Hamburg, Germany their home.
Stan and Olli, two king penguins, originally came to the German capital’s zoo as part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) to procreate and ensure the survival of their species, the German news agency DPA reported on Thursday.
However, Stan and Olli weren’t into the chicks of the program and actually preferred each other, according to Berlin Zoo spokeswoman Christiane Reiss.
“They’re gay, as far as we know,” Reiss told local news outlets.
“They never procreated. And when it came to mating, they only mated with each other.”
Stan and Olli have been resettled at Tierpark Hagenbeck, a zoo in Hamburg that only houses male king penguins and is actually home to another gay penguin couple named Juan and Carlos.
According to Darwin’s theory, the sexual impulses of animals are designed solely for reproduction, and must, therefore, be heterosexual.
However, recent research suggests homosexuality among animals is actually not uncommon.
About a fifth of captive king penguins are believed by researchers to be gay.
Zoologist Petter Bockman, an expert on the subject at the University of Oslo, told MailOnline: ‘If you ask: “Can animals be gay?” The short answer is: “Yes.” “Gay” is a human word, however, so we prefer to use the word “homosexual” for animals.MailOnline: ‘If you ask: “Can animals be gay?” The short answer is: “Yes.” “Gay” is a human word, however, so we prefer to use the word “homosexual” for animals.
‘Sexuality is not just about making babies, it is also about making the flock work.
For some animals, homosexuality is normal flock behaviour.’
With tribal animals, homosexuality can take on a social role – occupying unwanted males or bonding male members of the pack. In other species, it’s less clear.
‘Birds are really complicated,’ says Bockman. ‘What goes on in birds’ brains is anyone’s guess.’
Last Updated on Apr 17, 2016