Wednesday 13 December 2017

Video: Dublin Zoo hosts its fair share of commitment-phobes and polygamous spouses this Valentine’s Day

Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

Singles feeling the love pinch this Valentine’s Day might take some comfort in the fact that it’s not just humans who can be commitment-phobic or be the victim of a wandering eye

Only 5pc of animals are completely monogamous compared to a large majority of humans.

“Most humans are monogamous but with animals that is very rare. Only less than five percent of animals are monogamous,” said zookeeper Brendan Walsh.

“Saying that, there’s lots of similarities in our society in comparison to animal society. For example bickering and arguments that happen if our culture definitely happens in animals.”

The zoo has its fair share of drama and acts of jealousy often come into play in many relationships within the zoo.

“We’re doing a long term study on our flamingos and when they have eggs, the females won’t come off it. Sometimes the male will wander off and flirt a bit and interact a bit with other females. When he comes back two or three hours later she will bicker with him and attack him and give out to him for that,” he said.

The zoo is not just home to heterosexual animal couples either as many species engage in homosexuality at different points throughout their lives.

“There’s lots of animals in the zoo that would engage in homosexuality be it for a period of their life or their whole life and I certainly don’t believe that homosexuality is exclusive in our species.

“Then there’s the old romantics who are together for thirty or forty years. Some of our flamingos are in their mid forties and their bonds are very strong,” he said.

Those interested partaking in something a little bit different this Valentine’s Day weekend might be interested in the zoo’s romantic morning being held on February 15.

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