Denver zoo is celebrating the city’s PrideFest by telling the world about a unique love story in their flock of flamingos.
The pink birds appear to be a same-sex couple and have been named after *NSYNC band member Lance Bass and late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.
‘Chilean flamingo Lance Bass and American flamingo Freddie Mercury have paired up for several years,’ zoo officials tweeted Tuesday.
Two same-sex flamingos that have been named Lance Bass and Freddie Mercury are apparently a couple at the Denver Zoo. Freddie is seen on the left while Lance is on the right
The real Lance Bass ended up sharing the story on Facebook, writing: ‘This is the best!! I hope Lance is the one w the frosted tips!!!’
Lance, a Chilean Flamingo, and Freddie, an American flamingo from the Dominican Republic, are often seen performing courtship rituals such as ‘head flagging.’
The pair live in a nest that they built on a communal island, according to Mary Jo Willis, a bird expert at the Denver Zoo who spoke to CNN.
Flamingos are monogamous with their mate and they stay together while laying one egg per year according to BioExpedition.com.
Freddie, left, is about 49 years old and arrived at the Denver Zoo in 1978 while Lance, right, was hatched at the zoo in 2001
Freddie is about 49-years-old and arrived at the Denver Zoo in 1978. Lance hatched at the Denver Zoo in 2001, Willis said.
Although the pink birds can’t have a chick of their own, zookeepers say they could act as surrogate parents.
The zoo plan to give them an egg to incubate and will then see if they are able to raise the chick.
The zoo has been helping them to get ready to be parents by incubating a ‘dummy’ egg which the birds take turns to sit on.
The zoo say the birds are not gay per se: ‘We don’t assign sexuality to animals. They can’t physically tell us that. We document what we see in the process of caring for them. In the case of our flamingos, they perform courtship rituals, like head flagging, and live in a nest mount that they built to live in together,’ the zoo wrote online.
‘If we give them an egg, they will sit on it and raise it. This is the same behavior we see in male-female pairs, with the only difference being that in same-sex pairs, one of them does not produce a live chick.’
The flamingos have been named after two gay pop starts. While some claim Freddie Mercury, left, hid his sexual orientation from the public, others claimed he was “openly gay.’ Former *NSYNC member Lance Bass, right, came out as gay in 2006
The real Lance Bass ended up sharing the story on Facebook, writing: ‘This is the best!! I hope Lance is the one with the frosted tips!!!’
Denver Zoo officials responded, ‘Hey Lance, Freddie’s on the left and flamingo Lance is on the right, so he kind of does have dyed tips!’
Zoo officials are planning a special a flamingo-themed event in August and have invited Bass to attend.