And Tango Makes Three is based on the true story of two Chinstrap Penguins, Roy and Silo, in a New York Zoo. In 1998, one of the staff at the zoo noticed the two penguins performing mating rituals. A year later, staff reported that the two penguins seemed to be attempting to hatch a rock as though it were an egg. This prompted zoo keepers to give the pair an egg, an extra egg that had been taken from a pair of penguins unable to hatch it (it is reported that this pair had trouble hatching eggs in the past too). Roy and Silo took care of the egg and when it hatched zoo keepers named the baby female Tango.
When Tango herself reached maturity, she ended up mating with another female penguin named Tanuzi, The last report I was able to find stated that Tango and Tanuzi were still together in 2005 and had been together for two mating seasons. However, 2005 was not a good year for Roy and Silo. Zoo keepers reported that the pair were forced out of their nest by a more aggressive couple and Silo then found himself a new mate, a female penguin named Scrappy. I don’t know where Roy and Silo are today, though in 2012 it was believed they were still alive and residing in Central Park Zoo, both would be around 27 years old now.
Roy and Silo reached fame when an article in 2004 reported on them and two other pairs of penguins and referred to them as “gay penguins”. Their story was detailed in Justin Richardson’s and Peter Parnell’s children’s book, And Tango Makes Three, as well as in the 2005 film, March of the Penguins. When Roy and Silo broke up there was quite a lot of controversy surrounding it and many organizations against homosexuality said that this proved a lot of their points. However, it has been discovered that same-sex pairings amongst penguins is actually incredibly common, but don’t usually last more than a few years.
So there you have it, the story of Roy, Silo, and Tango. In my opinion, it’s a lot of controversy for an incredibly common act amongst penguins. The book received a lot of flak for depicting homosexuality to children. Personally, I love the book. I think it’s wonderful story for children and I don’t think the fact that it’s two male penguins would really make any difference to any of the kids reading it. Like I said yesterday, if certain people don’t want their children read it, then don’t read it. However, I don’t think these people should be able to decide whether or not everyone reads it.
You can read more about Roy and Silo here.
What do you think? Should And Tango Makes Three be banned?