In 1999, biologist Bruce Bagemihl debunked the heterosexual Noah’s Ark we were sold and published a groundbreaking study “Biological Exuberance,” where he documented more than 450 animal species that engage in homosexual behavior. Thanks to science, we now know that the animal kingdom is full of same-sex partnerships, from primates to parasites, and there’s no big deal about it.

The Denver Zoo is also a home for one lovely same-sex couple. Apollo and Trey are colorful lorikeets that have fallen head over heels for each other! “With these lorikeets, they perform courtship dances, preen each other, build nests, defend their territory & copulate,” tweeted the Zoo staff.

But not everyone was happy with the gay lovebirds. The homophobic comments started pouring in, but the Denver Zoo shut it down like a real badass. Let’s see how the whole discussion unfolded in the Twitter thread down below.

More info: Twitter | Facebook | DenverZoo.org

Meet the same-sex lorikeet couple Apollo and Trey living in Denver Zoo

Image credits: DenverZoo

Here’s the video of the two lovebirds having a blast

Image credits: DenverZoo

Image credits: DenverZoo

But some commentators were confused by what the “same-sex” refers to

Image credits: Kim59Powers

Bored Panda contacted Jake Kubié, director of communications at the Denver Zoological Foundation, to find out more about the two lovebirds, and there’s a lot more drama than you’d think!

It turns out, Apollo (male) and Trey are not currently a couple. “Apollo has always been a ‘third wheel’ to Mercutio (male) and Peppermint Patty (female) (although I believe his loyalty actually lies with Mercutio, not PP.)” Jake explained that “When Apollo and Trey paired up, Mercutio and Peppermint Patty were separated from the flock for breeding. As soon as they came back, Apollo ditched Trey for them again.” And Apollo is now back to his 3rd wheel status.

And the Zoo staff handled the question with ease

Image credits: DenverZoo

Image credits: DenverZoo

Jake explained that there are many ways lorikeets show their affection, “by spending lots of time together, preening each other, feeding each other, and, of course, copulation.” It turns out, lorikeets usually form bonds with a couple of close friends and sometimes a small group. Those who pair up engage in grooming, feeding, and copulation.

But the dramatic lorikeets are not the only same-sex couple known to the Zoo staff. “We have had same-sex pairings in our Humboldt and African penguins, our Chilean and American flamingos.”

Here’s another rude comment

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But the Zoo cleared all the confusion up by explaining everything loud and clear

Image credits: DenverZoo

Image credits: DenverZoo

Image credits: DenverZoo

According to scientists, same-sex relationships are all too common in the animal world. Jasper Buikx, a biologist at Amsterdam’s ARTIS Zoo, told DW: “Being homosexual is very common and no problem in the natural world at all. In fact, we see more heterophobia than homophobia in the animal kingdom.”

There are many different reasons why animals engage in homosexual activity, from a lack of heterosexual partners to seeking pleasure, settling fights, or forming social bonds. However, some animals have been observed having exclusively gay relationships and same-sex families.

According to DW, birds like vultures, geese, and ducks, are known for sticking to one partner for life. Those who choose a same-sex partner will also stick with them until the end. About 30% of albatross pairs on Oahu island are made up of 2 females. 20% of swan couples are known to be gay too, to name just a few examples.

And people showed their support for Apollo and Trey

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And this is what others had to say