LOS ANGELES (AFP) - After six years together, the relationship between a pair of gay male penguins at San Francisco zoo is apparently over, with Harry leaving Pepper for another penguin -- Linda.
The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that the relationship between Harry and Pepper, who lived side-by-side, protecting eggs abandoned by other penguins, came to a shocking end when Harry moved into a neighboring nest with recently-widowed Linda.
The development has sparked a variety of reactions in the blogosphere, where Linda has been called a "home wrecker" who "lives for her own happiness, no matter who gets hurt."
Harrison Edell, a curator of birds at the zoo, had a more pragmatic explanation, noting that Linda's recently-deceased partner was a leader of sorts among the small zoo penguin community, commanding not one but two nests.
"For penguins, real estate means a lot," Edell told the Los Angeles Times, so "as far as penguins go, she was a pretty attractive prospect."
With Pepper rejoining the ranks of the single, Christian website OneNewsNow.com took the split as a sign that "nature prefers heterosexual relationships."
Others were more sympathetic to the bereft Pepper.
John, writing on "The Frigging Loon" blog, said he was "heartbroken" about the split and that he hopes Pepper "finds another male penguin that is ten times hotter than Harry!"