A gay flamingo couple in Edinburgh’s zoo has taken under their wings a wee flamingo chick after its parents have abandoned it.
The wee fluffy flamingo chick was rejected after being knocked out of the nest by its parents, only to be saved and happily adopted by the gay flamingo couple.
Senior bird keeper Nick Dowling told The Mirror: “We weren’t short of drama in the flamingo flock this year.
“When the first egg arrived the parenting couple got really excited and accidentally knocked it off the nest – their natural instinct was then to abandon the egg.
“We don’t usually intervene with our flamingo flock but as this was our first egg since 2010, we carefully picked it up and placed it back on the nest.
“Luckily, one of our same sex male couples went straight onto the nest, fostered the egg and raised it as their own.”
Flamingos are native to South America and although their numbers are recorded at around 300,000, the are listed as “near threatened” due to habitat loss and hunting.
Colin Oulton, team leader at the zoo’s bird section, said: “This year has been good for us so far.
“We’ve had five chicks and it’s the first time we’ve bred since 2010. We are obviously delighted.
“We’ve been able to utilise these male male bonds and it’s working out fairly well. Male male pairs are equally able to rear youngsters.”
An estimated one-quarter of all black swans pairings are of males same-sex couples, studies have shown that 10 to 15 percent of female western gulls, and same-sex pairings and behaviours have been documented in penguins, mallards and vultures.
As of 1999, nearly 1,500 species, ranging from primates to gut worms, have been observed engaging in same-sex behaviours; this is well documented in about 500 species.