The saga of Germany’s gay griffon vultures Detlaf and Guido– whom zookeepers split up so Detlaf could be transferred to a Czech zoo to mate with a female — isn’t letting up. Especially since Guido has yet to complete the act with a lady in his new home.
Together since March, Detlaf and Guido built a nest together, groomed each other’s feathers, and eschewed the company of female vultures. But they made a terrible home, insist officials at Allwetter Zoo in Germany, who defended the forced split by saying the birds’ rocky home life (other vultures would supposedly steal parts of their nest) as evidence their same-sex relationship wasn’t meant to be. “They always sat so closely together,” says curator Dirk Wewers. “They defended their nest from the other vultures. A suitable female was missing and in such a case vultures look for companionship from the next best thing, even if it is a male. Detlef looked for a bird of the opposite sex but settled with Guido.”
So how are things faring for Guido now that he’s been yanked away from his partner? Not well. He has yet to hump any female vultures in the Czech zoo. And Detlaf hasn’t taken up the company of the female vulture his Allwetter zookeepers replaced Guido with. (That’s Detlaf and his new female partner, pictured.)
Except none of that is phasing zookeepers, because they’re sure they can change the way these vultures operate: “Detlef is reorienting himself now,” says Wewers, in some sick animal kingdom version of reparative therapy. “There’s still time,” says a zoo spokesman. “It is for the best.”
How long these before these two die of broken hearts? The Gays aren’t waiting: They’ve already staged a protest in front of the German zoo.