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Gay Flamingos Adopt an Abandoned Chick


Flamingos bask in the sun at La Aurora zoo in Guatemala. A pair of gay flamingos have adopted an abandoned chick, becoming parents after being together for six years.(AFP/File/Orlando Sierra)

LONDON (AFP) - A pair of gay flamingos have adopted an abandoned chick, becoming parents after being together for six years, a British conservation organisation said Monday.

Carlos and Fernando had been desperate to start a family, even chasing other flamingos from their nests to take over their eggs at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) in Slimbridge near Bristol.

But their egg-sitting prowess made them the top choice for taking an unhatched egg under their wings when one of the Greater Flamingo nests was abandoned.

The couple, together for six years, can feed chicks by producing milk in their throats.

"Fernando and Carlos are a same sex couple who have been known to steal other flamingos' eggs by chasing them off their nest because they wanted to rear them themselves," said WWT spokeswoman Jane Waghorn.

"They were rather good at sitting on eggs and hatching them so last week, when a nest was abandoned, it seemed like a good idea to make them surrogate parents."

Gay flamingos are not uncommon, she added.

"If there aren't enough females or they don't hit it off with them, they will pair off with other males," she said.

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