Proving gay relationships are just as susceptible to break-ups as heteros — even in the animal kingdom! — beloved gay penguin couple Harry and Pepper have gone their separate ways. The San Francisco Zoo pair, who joined up as adolescents, nested together as adults and together raised their own chick from an abandoned egg. And then entered a lady.
Maybe Harry is actually bi?
He’s dropped Pepper for Linda (pictured here with Harry), a widowed penguin known for quickly shacking up with new mates after ditching partners. And, evidently, getting her new men to attack their gay ex-lovers.
Enter the recently widowed Linda, who has long had a reputation of sorts, according to Brown.
Several years ago, she left her longtime companion and moved in with much older Fig just hours after Fig’s partner passed away, Brown said.
“That was the fastest we’d ever seen penguins move on,” he said. “To be completely anthropomorphizing, Linda seems conniving. She’s got her plan. I don’t think she was wanting to be a single girl for too long.”
This year, within weeks of Fig passing away in winter, Harry was seen in Fig’s old burrow spending time with Linda, Brown said.
Then one day, Harry and Linda approached Pepper’s pen and confronted Pepper. Harry began attacking Pepper violently and the three ultimately had to be separated, Brown said.
Harry and Linda successfully nested this year and eventually Pepper was returned to the penguin exhibit from a bachelor pad at the Avian Conservation Center, where he quietly took up his old residence. Zookeepers and fans are waiting with bated breath to see what might happen next.
“That’s the big question,” Brown said. “It’s molting season in late July and early August, and around that time we see couples getting shaken up. It’ll be interesting to see if Harry spends any of that time with Pepper. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Bill O’Reilly will be thrilled.