Can wild animals be homosexual?

Animal sexuality is a theme full of mysteries, and sometimes a little taboo. Among the questions that specialists have tried to answer: Are there gay animals in the wild when the purpose of species is to reproduce to secure their offspring?

Interviewed by the media Rawsaid ethologist Fleur Daugey, who studies this behavior: “It can be observed in 1,500 species and it has been scientifically studied in 500 species”. Homosexuality among wild animals would therefore be quite common, and some animals would even choose to have homosexual relationships rather than with an individual of the opposite sex, even if they had the choice. According to the expert, the majority of the animals are neither strictly homosexual nor heterosexual, but rather bisexual.

These same-sex relationships do not stop at the sexual aspect, as same-sex parenting has already been observed in several species. Here are six examples of species where homosexuality and / or same-sex parenting have been documented:


Among the animal species that are very popular with the general public is the gray dolphin, also called the common dolphin. These large social mammals live in groups. Cases of homosexuality are frequent there, whether between men or women. Some pairs even last a lifetime (dolphins have a lifespan of about 60 years, so they can form very long-lasting pairs!).

⋙ Dolphin females also practice sexual stimulation

Australian black swan

Here is an example of successful same-sex parenting with the Australian black swan. In this species, male pairs retrieve eggs that have been abandoned. They will then incubate them, then take care of the cubs. Their reproductive success is often greater than that of a heterosexual couple. The reason: in this species, it is the males that control the territories. A pair of two males therefore have a much larger territory, which means more food for their offspring.

⋙ North Korea: black swan meat is recommended against food shortages


The bonobo is one of our closest cousins. This primate has 98.7% of DNA in common with humans. In addition to this genetic proximity, the species is known for its unrestrained sexuality. Sex is used to ease tensions between group members. Monkeys indulge in masturbation and have frequent intercourse without reproductive intentions. Between men and women or individuals of the same sex, sex is the solution to everything among bonobos! They are supporters of “cozy sex”, whose purpose is above all social. These matings are intended to resolve conflicts, for example, by mediating an aggressive individual, or if a rivalry breaks out between two members of society.

Bon Young bonobos are very stressed by the arrival of siblings, according to a study

The penguin

Like Australian black swans, penguins are known to have same-sex relationships and raise young. Many cases have been documented in zoos and in the wild. Penguins are faithful animals and they are among the animals that remain in a pair all their lives, which is very rare in the animal world.

Note that penguins are also part of the species in which caring fathers, even in heterosexual couples, raise their young.

⋙ USA: A couple of penguins become adoptive parents in a zoo in New York


Even the king of beasts can indulge in same-sex relationships. Researchers report that 8% of sexual acts in lions are homosexual. On the other hand, lionesses only engage in lesbian behavior in captivity.


Giraffes are known for their impressive size. But did you know that these giant women are bisexual? According to biologist Günter Strauss, 90% of the acts observed are of a homosexual nature in certain groups.

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