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Meet the 12 most influential LGBTI animals to walk the Earth

Meet the 12 most influential LGBTI animals to walk the Earth

Roy and Silo the penguin pioneers


Roy and Silo were the LGBTI pioneers of the penguin world. A same-sex pair in New York City’s Central Park Zoo, they were spotted by staff in 1998 trying to mate and hatching a rock as if it was an egg.

Zoo keepers gave them an egg from another pair of penguins, which resulted in the couple raising a chick named Tango.

Tango then formed a same-sex relationship with another female penguin. Their story became ‘And Tango Makes Three…’ a popular children’s book. It led to other penguin couples being allowed to adopt eggs around the world.

Benjy the bisexual bull


Benjy the bull, from Ireland, was going to be put to death by the farmer because he was more interested in mating with other bulls than the cows.

When his story went viral, it inspired The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon to step in save Benjy from the slaughterhouse. He moved the Charolais to a sanctuary, where it turns out the bull was actually bisexual anyway.

Ninio the taking it slow African elephant

The Maryland Zoo In Baltimore Photos by Jeffrey F. Bill 1/04/07 Elephants 7 Digital Photograph JFB_3259
Jeffrey F. Bill

Poland reacted in anger when a zoo said they may have a gay elephant in their brand new enclosure.

Ninio, an African elephant, was a little young at 10 years old but still only preferred his male mates than the females.

“We didn’t pay 37 million zlotys for the largest elephant house in Europe to have a gay elephant live there,” said Michael Grzes, who is from the right-wing opposition Law and Justice party.

Mmamoriri the transgender/non-binary lion

Transgender Lion Chris Perrett.preview

Mmamoriri the lioness showed physical characteristics of both genders (so we’ll use gender-neutral pronouns just in case).

They grew a mane to fool invading prides that they are male, as well as developing a deeper and more masculine roar. It turns out Mmamoriri was one of five in the surrounding areas to be this way.

Wendell and Cass the gender-fooling penguins 


Wendell and Cass were two penguins in the New York Aquarium lived happily for many years, with staff assuming they were just a straight couple.

But in 2002, with genetic testing, it turns out they were actually two males.

Lonesome George the last-man-standing tortoise


Lonesome George was over 100 when he passed away in June 2012, and he was the last of his species of tortoise.

Why so lonesome? Conservationists searched for years to find another tortoise of his species, and all reproduction efforts failed. It led to many to wonder whether old George was just disinterested in having sex with a female.

Matthew and Bourne the arguing-but-they-really-love-each-other swans

Mute Swan pair (Cygnus olor) on water   Original Filename: BA18589.jpg

Matthew and Bourne (admittedly, ok, we made up these names for them) are the only gay pair in a swannery of over 1,000 birds in Dorset, England.

Nesting together for several years, they act in every way like they’re a couple.

‘They just always stay together and I hear that they have some spectacular fights with each other,’ swannery manager John Houston said, ‘but they always make up and get back together.’

Dashik and Yehuda the good dad vultures 


Dashik and Yehuda, two male vultures at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, got up to some heavily Bible unapproved action when they built a nest together.

They incubated an artificial egg for 45 days. Afterwards, the zoo replaced it with a baby vulture and the two fathers raised the chick together.

If you want to learn more about homosexual behavior in the animal kingdom, check it out here.