The Munich Zoo in Germany has joined Pride Week with a rather, unusual group of wild partners. We’re talking about penguins, giraffes, and lions who all turn out to have an intimate same-sex relationship inside the animal kingdom.
“It is important for us to talk about homosexuality in the animal kingdom and show that same-sex love has its place in nature,” Dennis Spaeth, Munich zoo spokesman told AFP. “Because unfortunately in Germany we see more and more people from the reactionary right attacking LGBTQI rights.”
Even though lawmakers legalized gay marriage in the country in 2017 and most Catholic Bavaria became more accepting towards the LGBTQI community, a lot of non-heterosexuals are still a target for violence. Last year alone, police have recorded 91 attacks based on the victim’s orientation.
Giraffes are the first stop on the Pride tour.
“Giraffes are bisexual. In some groups, 90 percent of the acts observed are in fact homosexual in nature,” explained biologist Guenter Strauss.
Meanwhile, in another enclosure are a couple of male-male couples of black-faced Humboldt penguins that are squatting together from other mixed pairs. Instead of eggs to take care of, the penguins are taking care of rocks instead.
Strauss added that this kind of relationship is no “one-off fling” as “penguins conduct homosexual relationships that can last a whole lifetime, something very rare in the animal kingdom.”
He continued to explain that hundreds of animal species, from elephants to birds, actually display homosexual behavior. However, unlike us humans, their preference is often quite fluid.
“Among people, we grow up with a specific sexual orientations. That’s often not true for animals,” Strauss said. “They are in fact bisexuals. They adopt a certain sexual behavior at specific moments.”
For lions, Strauss said that eight percent of them are homosexual. While for the lionesses, they show lesbian behavior when kept in captivity.