People talk shit about the Examiner, but at least once a day it makes me really happy. Like, today, they have a story on the soap opera going on in the SF Zoo’s penguin community: Harry and Pepper, these two dude penguins who have “been together” since 2003, have apparently split.

“The breakup came as a shock to the couple’s zookeepers because Harry and Pepper, both Magellanic penguins, had long seemed one of the zoo’s happiest avian partnerships,” writes Ex staff writer Katie Worth, who (sadly or maybe not sadly) does not go into any details on exactly how “intimate” this relationship was.

The formerly cohabiting penguins (seen in the video above, in happier times), who once incubated and hatched an egg that they, of course, did not lay, started having issues last year after Harry started spending time with Linda, another, female penguin. (And, just like that, every hope and dream I had regarding almost every boy I dated in high school just got revived.)

“One day, Harry and Linda approached Pepper’s pen and confronted Pepper. Harry began attacking Pepper violently and the three ultimately had to be separated…Harry and Linda successfully nested this year and eventually Pepper was returned to the penguin exhibit from a bachelor pad at the Avian Conservation Center, where he quietly took up his old residence.”

Apparently, the Kinsey Scale’s a lot more fluid when it comes to penguins? But, this story makes me really sad! And reminds me of a lot of British detective novels. Anyway, please insert your gay marriage/conversion jokes here.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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