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This newspaper is a time machine, locked in around the time of two World Wars, one World Cup and a lost age when it was permissible to poke fun at Germans.

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Birds of a feather

GERMANY‘S diverse gay community is outraged after a homosexual couple were forcibly parted to be made to mate with females.

Guido and Detlef have become the poster boys for intolerance of their alternative lifestlye - despite the fact they are both male predators.

Vultures, to be exact. And despite ruffling the feathers of homosexual activists who believe what happens to animals could one day happen to them, the decision to part them from the nest which they built together stands.

In a world of cholera outbreaks, terrorism threats, imploding banks, decreasing fortunes and species, certain German gay rights people have found time to express solidarity and sympathy with their plight.

What the tabloids would term a right carrion began back in March when Guido and Detlef began their homemaking together at the Allwetter Zoo in the British Army garrison town of Muenster in north-west Germany.

The goose vultures - Gyps fulvous - showed no interest in any female company. They were happy in their own world, grooming one another with tender sweeps of their savage beaks in between re-arranging the sticks which made up their nest, even though the other vultures kept stealing them as if to spite their “arrangement.“

“They always sat so closely together,“ said curator Dr. Dirk Wewers. “They defended their nest from the other vultures. A suitable female was missing and in such a case vultures look for companionship from the next best thing, even if it is a male.

“Detlef looked for a bird of the opposite sex but settled with Guido.“ But Guido was removed last week to replaced by a flighty female from Czech Republic who, it is hoped, will tickle Detlef‘s fancy, among other things, to create little vultures.

“Detlef is re-orienting himself now,“ added Dr. Wewers, who dismissed criticism from gay groups at the decision to break up a happy home.

So far, Detlef and the un-named Czech bird have yet to do the wild thing. Guido, transferred 400 miles east to a zoo in Ostrava, Czech Republic, is also reportedly not too enamoured with the heterosexual lifestyle now being forced upon him.

Will it be too late to teach an old vulture new tricks? Both Detlef and Guido are 14 and it is uncertain that the libido of either can live up to the expectations of keepers.

But while separated by bars and great distance, the birds have provoked an outpouring of support among gay humans. There has already been one small protest near the zoo gates by some homosexuals standing beneath a rainbow flag and the German blogosphere is buzzing like a scene out of Alfred Hitchcock‘s ‘The Birds.‘

“This is like in the dark middle ages, forcibly making a creature sexually re-orient itself by tearing its partner from its side,“ wrote one angry gay vulture lover.

“While the Roman-catholic church in the arch-conservative area of Muensterland is jubilant, homosexual federations and animal protection organizations from the whole world over are indignant."

Five years ago a public petition saved the gay penguins of Bremerhaven Zoo from being split up. But outrage came too little, too late, for Detlef and Guido.

As night fell over a cold and windy Muenster last night, there was still no sign that Detlef was about to fall prey to the delights of his eastern temptress.

“There‘s still time,“ said a zoo spokesman. “It is for the best.“

German Herald



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