London Zoo offers a night tour with Ronnie and Reggie

Not the murdery gangsters, a pair of together-forever gay penguins

Microsoft isn't the only one hobnobbing with penguins this week. Visitors signing up for an evening tour of London Zoo next week will find it has had a few tweaks to celebrate Gay Pride month.

The zoo's most famous gay couple – Humboldt penguins Ronnie and Reggie – have smartened up their smelly beach with a Stonewall banner.

Ronnie and Reggie, unlike their murderous, nightclub-owning, swinging '60s namesakes, have been quietly paired up since 2014.

Rather than murdering people with hat-related nicknames, the penguins adopted an egg which was abandoned by another pair in 2015. They quickly settled down into a life of parental responsibilities and hatched the egg successfully. They looked after the chick until it left the nest.

The 19th century zoo's evening tour next Friday will include a talk about gender and mating and hear how common same sex pairings are among animals.

There are two other gay couples – Nadja and Zimmer, and Dev and Martin – among the 90-odd penguins at the zoo.

Ronnie and Reggie were named after London gangster brothers the Kray twins. The twins’ gang ran the east end of London during the 1960s until they were convicted of murder in 1969. Ronnie described himself as bisexual and was rumoured to have had an affair with Tory politician Lord Boothby.

A spokeswoman for the scientific spot, located near the millionaires' mansions in Regents' Park, explained why the names were chosen: “Ronnie and Reggie are big personalities on Penguin Beach and definitely rule the roost.”

The Regent’s Park zoo runs evening tours from June till the end of July. ®




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