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Homosexuality does for UK blue duck population

'A lovely couple', admits downheartened bird warden

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

A couple of male blue ducks have pretty well done for hopes that the species might propagate in the UK after eschewing the advances of a female in favour of some light boy-on-boy, the Telegraph reports.

The pair of gay drakes - named Ben and Jerry - resisted the advances of female Cherry at Arundel Wetland Centre in West Sussex and came out of the avine closet to form a close partnership. Centre warden Paul Stevens said: "They stay together all the time, parading up and down their enclosure and whistling to each other as a male might do with a female he wants to mate with. People who visit the centre think they're a fantastic couple, without really coming around to the idea that they are two males."

According to Stevens, Cherry has taken the snub pretty well and "doesn't seem bothered by it, she's just happy to keep herself to herself".

The centre had hoped that the blue ducks - natives of New Zealand and represented by just three individuals in the UK - would get it together, and Stevens explained that after she was introduced to Ben, Cherry "showed some interest in him" then "displayed typical mating behaviour".

He elaborated: "She approached him and called to him, she even looked like she was nesting. We thought it was great and it was all going to happen but nothing ever did."

In the correct spirit of tolerance that these enlightened times require, Stevens concluded: "To our surprise the two males really took to each other and it was obvious that they really liked each other. It would have been nice to get a last clutch of eggs from Cherry, but Ben and Jerry do make a lovely couple." ®

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