22 September 2009

Gay vulture couple at Jerusalem zoo split up, reconsider lifestyle

Jonathan Lis, Haaretz Correspondent, tells the amazing story:

It's an animal story that wouldn't shame an HBO series - the story of two female Griffon vulture chicks, offspring of what used to be Israel's first and only gay vulture couple.

Dashik, father to one vulture chick, and Yehuda, father to the other, once engaged in a fiery romance that made headlines in local and international media. About ten years ago, the two male vultures fell in love, built a joint nest and became a couple.
The couple even brought up a baby vulture together. However:
A few years later, however, the relationship broke up, after Yehuda fell for a female vulture that was brought into the aviary. Dashik became depressed, and was eventually moved to the zoological research garden at Tel Aviv University. There, Dashik too set up a nest with a female vulture.
And the result was:
...the spouses of both Yehuda and Dashik laid an egg on the same day, the eggs hatched on the same April day, and the two chicks were exactly the same weight.
It will be interesting to see what happens to these two (female) chicks. So far the fate has thrown them together:
Some two weeks ago, when the chicks reached the 8-kilogram weight of adult vultures, they were moved to the prey birds' aviary. "At first they tried paying visits to other vultures," Erez said, "but when the others realized these were unfamiliar vulture chicks, they attacked. Today, the two keep each other's company.
It will be a hoot if the two decide to choose the alternative lifestyle. Like their dads.

Well, is there a lesson in this story? I guess not, unless you consider the fact that vultures experience more variety in their lifestyle to be a lesson.