Tango had two dads. Now, an unnamed Little Blue Penguin at the New England Aquarium has two moms.
Okay, that’s a bit misleading to readers of this blog. I had the same misconception, though, when I read the headline “Penguin ‘mothers’ make daily care a labor of love” in today’s Boston Globe. The article explains:
For the past few weeks, [Caitlin] Hume and fellow New England Aquarium biologist Heather Urquhart have been mothering a 22-ounce Little Blue Penguin that was rejected by its parents after a difficult hatching.
Each night, the two surrogate moms delicately pack the baby—covered in soft, gray-blue down —into a plastic cooler. Inside, the bird rests comfortably, swaddled in a white towel for the car ride home, oblivious to Boston’s rush-hour traffic.
Hume and Urquhart are not, to the best of my knowledge, in a relationship with each other. In fact, Urquhart “admits to a little separation anxiety when it’s Hume’s turn to take the chick home.” Still, I had a pleasant moment of thinking about Little Blue and Tango showing up as special guests at a national COLAGE conference.
On a related note, Fox News, of all places, has an article today citing a zoologist who claims “about 1,500 animal species are known to practice same-sex coupling, including bears, gorillas, flamingos, owls, salmon and many others.” It notes, however, “One thing that does seem to be exclusive to humans is homophobia.”