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This may be a bit old news but still amusing...

[B]Zoo Uses Aversion Therapy 'To Cure' Gay Penguins[/B]

(Bremen, Germany) A German zoo is trying "to cure" three gay penguin couples using a form of aversion therapy. The Bremerhaven Zoo is splitting up the couples, and has imported four female penguins from Sweden which it will use to try to "turn" the penguins "straight".

The three gay couples are part of the zoo's 10 penguin exhibit. The others are apparently straight and coupled. But, for more than a year zookeepers were mystified why the three couples didn't have any offspring.

They did the usual courting dances, built nests together, appeared to have sex, and still no little penguins. Finally they did a DNA test to see if there was something genetically wrong. That is when they discovered the three couples were all male.

Zoo director Heike Kueck said each of the males will be given special secluded separate quarters and a female will be introduced. They will rotate the females to see which pairings "click".

Gay penguins are not unusual. New York's Central Park Zoo, has Roy and Silo, who have been together for several years. As with one of the couples in Germany Roy and Silo put a rock simulating an egg in their nest and sat on it, keeping it warm in the folds of their abdomens. (story)

Gay penguins have also been found in Japan. Scientists at Rikkyo University in Tokyo, found about 20 same-sex pairs at 16 major aquariums and zoos in Japan. (story)

Aversion therapy "to cure" homosexuality in human has run the gambit from shock therapy to isolation with females and has never worked.

Even Kueck is skeptical it will work in her penguins. But, she said that the attempt has the support of the European Endangered Species Program because the penguins, which are native to South America, are an endangered species.

In New York, attempts to introduce females to Roy and Silo failed although the two no longer spend time together. Roy for a while spent time with another penguin, this time a female, but that too has apparently ended.

and the follow-up...
[B]Zoo ditches gay penguin plan[/B]

A German zoo has abandoned a plan to break up homosexual penguin couples after protests from gay rights groups.

The Bremerhaven Zoo in northern Germany had earlier flown in four female Humboldt penguins in an attempt to encourage three all-male couples to reproduce.

The zoo originally defended the experiment on the grounds that the birds were an endangered species. But after protests from gay rights groups, director Heike Kueck said the zoo was abandoning the plan.

"Everyone can live here as they please," Ms Kueck said.

She said it was not her intention, nor was it possible, to separate the gay couples by force and interest them in their new female companions.

She added that the gay penguins had shown little interest in the females, but this could have been because the program was started too late in the year.

Gay groups had protested against "the organised and forced harassment through female seductresses" in an open letter to Bremerhaven Mayor Joerg Schulz and called on him to stop the program.

Zoo keepers discovered that the homosexual couples had gathered rocks that they coveted like eggs and fooled their keepers for years into thinking they were boy-and-girl duos.

The zoo came up with the ingenious idea of trying to convert the males by flying in some exotic birds from Scandinavia. But the boys haven't exactly been fighting for a slice of the female action. On the contrary, they have shown their suitors the cold shoulder.

"The relationships were obviously too serious," Ms Kueck said of the same-sex penguin couples. Instead of flirting with the opposite sex, they seemed to prefer sitting on the stones, which substitute for the eggs they will never be able to lay.

The zoo, which promotes itself with the slogan "encounters of a special kind", initially wanted to wait until spring 2006 to see if their international matchmaking efforts spawned results.

Now the gay penguins are being allowed to live the way they want.

As for the Swedish females - new male penguins have been drafted in to attend to their heterosexual needs.