Two male African penguins at Toronto Zoo, who appear to be in a relationship, are set to be split up because they belong to an endangered species. The plan is to separate the penguins and introduce them to females for mating.
Buddy and Pedro were both born in captivity and show signs of courtship and mating towards each other.
The decision to separate the pair has sparked international debate and the zoo is facing criticism from many. Is this a form of homophobia? Do the penguins have the right to choose their partner or is it necessary to intervene?
I personally am very undecided on this one. It is a complicated issue. If the penguins have formed such a close relationship the separation could cause unnecessary distress for the penguins.
On the other hand I do understand the importance of breeding programmes. Endangered species such as the African penguin will only survive if they are given a helping hand.
It’s a tough one and has no easy solution. Toronto Zoo have been put in a very difficult situation and now have to answer their critics. I would love to know your thoughts on this.