One gay flamingo couple is leaving a lot of people questioning if love is real after all after they broke up during the last week of Pride Month.
On June 23, the Denver Zoo took to social media to reveal the fan-favorite couple of Lance Bass and Freddie Mercury are no longer together.
Gay Flamingo Couple Break Up, Are Now Free To ‘Flamingle’
In a Facebook post on June 23, the Denver Zoo revealed that the fan-favorite flamingo couple of Freddie Mercury and Lance Bass were no longer together.
“Happy Pride!” they began. “We’re celebrating some of the diverse animal kingdom families who call the Zoo home, and today we’re featuring our fabulous flockstars, our Chilean and American flamingos!”
“Flamingos are extremely social by nature and flocks consist of collections of partnerships,” they continued. “This includes not only male-female breeding pairs, but also strong bonds between same-sex pairs.”
“While our famed, same-sex couple Chilean flamingo Lance Bass and American flamingo Freddie Mercury are no longer a pair, they were paired up for several years and acted as surrogate parents if a breeding pair was unable to raise their chick,” they continued. “Our flock is 75 birds strong, which allows our birds to flamingle with a variety of individuals and personalities, giving them many options on who to form associations with.”
In a follow-up Facebook post, the zoo answered questions about the nature of the breakup.
“It seems like our flamingo post yesterday may have ruffled some feathers and we want to sincerely apologize…for leaving everyone in the dark so long as to why our same-sex flamingo pair Freddie Mercury and Lance Bass split up!” they began. “Please rest assured that both Freddie and Lance are in good health, weren’t separated and their break up was amicable.”
“Mating for life isn’t necessarily true for all birds, and our keepers have noticed that some birds in long-term relationships sometimes decide to move on and pair up with other birds,” they continued, revealing that Freddie Mercury had already moved on with another female flamingo!
“Freddie repaired with Iommi, one of our fourteen-year-old female American flamingos,” they continued. “Iommi has been around Freddie for nearly her entire life without any indication of a bond before, so keepers aren’t exactly sure why these two decided to pair up. As for Lance, keepers haven’t noticed him in a new concrete bond with anyone else at the moment.”
Poor Lance! Fans are hopeful that he’ll be able to find someone soon!
“As we mentioned in yesterday’s post, flamingos are incredibly social animals that form unique and intricate bonds,” they continued. “Some birds are in male-female breeding pairs. Some birds are in same-sex bonded pairs. Some birds are mated pairs their whole lives, some will have multiple partners in their lifetime and others won’t have a mate at all.”
“Our flock allows our birds to choose who they decide to form associations with and we’re happy to celebrate their pairings this month and every month,” they added. “Happy Pride!”
Although their break-up may be sad news for many flamingo fans, this isn’t the first time that flamingos have been making headlines in recent weeks. Back in May, a far worse incident occurred at the Smithsonian Zoo that left over two dozen flamingos dead and several more injured.
Tragedy Strikes The Smithsonian National Zoo, Over 25 Animals Dead
In May, the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute shared a true tragedy with their social media followers.
The Smithsonian National Zoo’s official Facebook page revealed that over two dozen animals had been killed at their zoo in Washington D.C. They wrote, “Our team is devastated and mourning the loss of 25 American flamingos and one Northern pintail duck killed by a wild fox yesterday in the Zoo’s outdoor flamingo habitat.”
According to the zoo’s official press release, the zoo staff were “devastated and mourning the loss of 25 American flamingos and one Northern pintail duck killed by a wild fox yesterday in the Zoo’s outdoor flamingo habitat.” Three additional flamingos were also found to be injured and were treated in the Zoo’s veterinary hospital.
The Bird House staff reportedly found the deceased flamingos on the morning of Monday, May 2. They later spotted a fox in the Zoo’s outdoor flamingo yard, although it was reported that the wild fox escaped before they could catch it.
The flamingo yard reportedly contained 74 flamingos before the attack. The remaining flamingos have since been removed from the yard and are now taking up residence indoors in their barn. The ducks have been moved to another outdoor space, that is reportedly covered and more secured.
Brandie Smith, John and Adrienne Mars Director, released a statement saying, “This is a heartbreaking loss for us and everyone who cares about our animals. The barrier we used passed inspection and is used by other accredited zoos across the country. Our focus now is on the well-being of the remaining flock and fortifying our habitats.”
The zoo regularly conducts routine inspections of the exhibits to make sure that their enclosures are secure, not just for the safety of the animals, but for that of the general public as well. The last inspection of the Bird House was reportedly conducted on May 1 at 2:30 PM local time. At the time of the last inspection, no areas of concern were listed in the flamingo habitat.
However, by the morning of May 2, the report noted a “new softball-sized hole in the heavy-duty metal mesh that surrounds the outdoor yard.” The report also found “no breach to the dig barrier in the outdoor exhibit.”
Shortly after the incident occurred, the Smithsonian Zoo reinforced the metal mesh around the flamingo yard, which they say was last replaced in 2017. The zoo had passed an accreditation inspection by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums at that time. The zoo also set up traps around the perimeter to catch any wild predators and set up digital camera traps with infrared sensors to catch nocturnal animal activity.