This is the place:
DEALING WITH IT - UNDERSTANDING HOMOSEXUALITY
- "UNNATURALNESS" - ANIMAL INSTINCTS
Scientists have long known that homosexuality
is common in the animal kingdom, but only
recently have they begun to discover the
full extent of queerness among animals. And
now, one zoo in the Netherlands hopes to
profit from it. The January 7 Sunday Times of London reported that Amsterdam's Artis
Zoo has begun offering "gayded tours"
of its facilities. Among the highlights are
"a flamingo lake where same-sex orgies
are de rigueur, ... a lesbian chimp, and
there are whispers about a 'pink elephant'
that has remained a confirmed bachelor since
being donated by Nehru in the 1950s."
Part of the purpose, according to zoo officials,
is to help visitors realize just how natural
In the past year, scientists have made a
handful of important discoveries about same-sex
animal attractions. Most recently, researchers
discovered that a strikingly high proportion
of polar bears on the Arctic islands of Svalbard
are hermaphroditic. The BBC reported on September
1 that approximately 1.2 percent of the Norwegian
islands' 3,000 bears have reproductive organs
of both sexes -- a condition scientists attribute
to environmental pollutants. Earlier this
year biologists reported in Science magazine that the bdelloid rotifer, an all-female
species of tiny water animal, has been breeding
without males for 40 million years.
Then there's the mandrill monkey. Male mandrills
do exist, but mandrill society is female-dominated.
Researchers have found that the baboon-like
creatures, which were featured in the Lion King, form social groups consisting "almost
entirely of females and their dependent offspring."
This is in stark contrast to most simian
societies, which are comprised of an alpha
male and a harem of submissive females. The
New York Times reports that "once the [mandrill] breeding
season is through, the males disappear, and
spend the rest of the year in distinctly
unsimian solitude. ... They don't establish
long-term bonds with females."
Maybe Dr. Laura should start spending more
time at the zoo.