Thomas, The “Gay” And Polyamorous Goose Who Gave The World A Splendid Example Of Tolerance.

Some stories have the power to make us reflect on crucial aspects of life and society, even if their protagonists are animals: their stories can even give us valuable lessons in tolerance and respect.

What we are going to tell you is the fascinating story of Thomas, a goose who, through his choices, has become a true animal icon of an alternative way of life. Over the course of its long life, this bird rose to stardom, touching everyone who followed it closely and knew what it was doing.


image credit: Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust/Facebook

We are in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, and this is where this special bird was born. The fact that he behaved in an unusual way compared to all the other geese was evident when, in the lagoon of Waimanu, Thomas avoided the females, preferring the company of Henry, a male black swan.

The “gay couple” have enjoyed a happy relationship for 18 years. The two supported each other, according to the people who protected and cared for them, choosing never to mate with females of their respective species.


image credit: Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust/Facebook

That all changed, however, with the arrival of Henrietta, a female swan with whom Henry began to nest together. The two swans were not left alone, however: among them was also Thomas, who brought to life what has been defined as a true polyamorous triangle.

Indeed, the goose has always been part of the “family” of Henry and Henrietta, who gave birth to 68 young in the space of 12 years . This singular and alternative nucleus of birds began to be loved by the local population, observed and known. Unfortunately for them, the difficulties loomed.


image credit: Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust/Facebook

When Henry died in 2009, the triangle dissolved. Henrietta found another male partner, while Thomas tried, without much success, to mate with a female. His young, shortly after, were “adopted” by another male, and Thomas was left alone . A sad situation for him, to which was added a serious health problem which, in 2013, led to complete blindness.


image credit: Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust/Facebook

He was then transferred to the Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust , where he received all the attention he needed. Thomas, however, was never happy like in the past. Until he passed away in 2018, at the age of 40, and was buried alongside the swan Henry, his first and only great love.


image credit: Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust/Facebook

It goes without saying that the story of this goose, besides winning the hearts of many people, had a really important meaning when it came to love choices and discrimination. In animals, in fact, homophobia does not exist , although for biologists and experts , “polyamorous” and homosexual behaviors are not at all rare or “strange”. Thomas and Henry never needed to stand up for their behaviors and attitudes. A very different picture from what happens in humans, who, despite years of awareness, are still unable to fully accept the personal choices of others.

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