The Denver Zoo says that Chilean flamingos Freddie Mercury and Lance Bass, who were known for being a same-gender couple, are no longer together.

On June 23, the Denver Zoo posted on Facebook about Pride Month and talked about its “fabulous flockstars, our Chilean and American flamingos.”


“Flamingos are very social by nature, and flocks are made up of partnerships between male and female breeding pairs as well as strong bonds between same-gender pairs,” the post said.

The post also talked about the famous same-gender flamingo couple Freddie Mercury and Lance Bass from the Denver Zoo. They were in the news because they helped raise chicks when a breeding pair couldn’t.

“Our famous same-gender couple, Chilean flamingo Lance Bass and American flamingo Freddie Mercury, are no longer together, but they were for several years,” the zoo wrote. “Our flock is 75 birds strong, so our birds can flamingle with a lot of different people and personalities, giving them a lot of choices when it comes to making friends.”

The news that Freddie Mercury and Lance Bass broke up must have caused a stir at the Denver Zoo, because on June 24, the zoo gave more details about the flamingo couple’s breakup.

“It looks like yesterday’s flamingo post may have ruffled some feathers, and we want to sincerely apologize…for keeping everyone in the dark for so long about why our same-gender flamingo couple, Freddie Mercury and Lance Bass, broke up!” the zoo wrote on social media with a photo of the exes. “Don’t worry, Freddie and Lance are both healthy, they weren’t separated, and their breakup was friendly. Not all birds mate for life, and our keepers have seen that some birds in long-term relationships decide to move on and pair up with other birds.”

“Freddie mended with Iommi, one of our 14-year-old female American flamingos. Iommi has been around Freddie for nearly her whole life without showing any signs of a bond before, so keepers aren’t sure why these two decided to pair up. As for Lance, keepers haven’t seen him in a new concrete bond with anyone else right now,” the follow-up post said.

The zoo once again drew attention to the fact that flamingos are social birds and that the Denver Zoo’s 75 flamingos can “choose who they want to be friends with.”

“Flamingos are very social animals that form unique and intricate bonds. Some birds are in male-female breeding pairs. Some birds are in same-gender bonded pairs. Some birds are mated pairs their whole lives, some will have multiple partners in their lifetime, and others won’t have a mate at all,” the Denver Zoo said of flamingo mating habits.


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