Everyone loves an African animal story.
People get terribly upset when African animals are declared extinct (as was the Western Black rhino, last week), but when we see this video about saving the black rhinos, using helicopters, massive amounts of tranquilizers, and WWF’s mighty funds, we get that lovely heart-warming feeling.
And we can’t but go gaga over cute pet hippos who get to come into the kitchen and are treated to an aromatherapy massage, when the cat isn’t even allowed in the lounge (warning to those who have a “I Dream of Africa” reveries and plan to copy these owners: a farmer in South Africa, 40-year old Marius Els, an army major, was bitten to death by the 1.2 tonne hippo he christened Humphrey and tried to domesticate on a farm in Free State province. And our family’s pet monkey sat on a tree and threw mango seeds at visitors, while my pet whydah bird pooped on my sister with remarkable accuracy).
But more than all the animal folklore from Africa, we really love a gay African animal story.
In a story that has been dubbed “Brokeback Iceberg,” the Toronto Zoo attempted to separate two male African penguins, who seem to have a penchant for homosocial interaction (keep in mind that African penguins do not live on icebergs, but on Southern African seashores swept by freezing Antarctic currents). People went berserk when the zoo announced that it had plans to wrench Pedro and Buddy “from each other’s flippers and lock ’em up with females until they nest and take one for the team.”
Now, due to “gay activists [in Canada] and abroad [who] have questioned how Toronto, which led the way in North America on gay marriage, could treat this pair of two-legged waddlers so badly,” they’ve decided to forgo the concerns about conserving an endangered species.
AIAC is all for animal conservation–but not when penguin love is involved.