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Thomas the bi goose and Henry the swan’s love story to become a statue

Written by gaytourism

A goose and a swan | Photo: Pexels

It was an inter-species same-sex love story as old as time.

Thomas, a bisexual goose, fell in love with Henry, a swan, in New Zealand. The feathered duo were joined 12 years later by Henrietta, a female swan.

This 30-year relationship between these birds could now become a statue.

Waikanae Bird Tour operator Mik Peryer has said he would love the three birds to be commemorated in bronze and displayed on the Kāpiti Coast.

‘It was an iconic thing, Waikanae could even use the statue as a brand,’he said.

Eileen Thomas provided the plan for the life-size sculpture. If cast in bronze, it could cost up to $80,000.

Plans for same-sex inter-species relationship to become a statue 

Kāpiti mayor K Gurunathan spoke at Thomas’ funeral last year.

He said getting the money for the statue is not a sure thing.

‘That would involve responsibility for the artistic nature of the work and its placement going to the council’s Art Pane,’ he said, according to The Dominion Post.

‘If they are happy with that, that’s fine. Otherwise they can look to crowdfunding the project. I think Thomas has the pull to raise that kind of money.

“No matter the process, Thomas is a great and quirky Kāpiti story and we should be celebrating our stories through our art.’

Bisexual animal and partners

Thomas (white) with Henry, Henrietta (black) and their cygnets | Photo: Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust Facebook

The inter-species love story of Thomas, Henry and Henrietta

When birdwatchers first spotted Henry and Thomas together, they assumed Henry was a female swan.

The lack of babies soon suggested Henry was a male swan.

Peryer explained Henry went to partner up and have children with another female swan, but Thomas stuck around to help raise the babies.

Swans are known to form triad relationships with another male and a female. This way they have the companionship of the male but can still have children.

He added: ‘Prior to Henrietta turning up they had about 18 happy years together.’

The ‘eternal triangle’ raised 68 cygnets over the years.

Thomas was distraught after Henry’s death in 2009. He could be heard crying occasionally said Peryer.

He said: ‘Henrietta just flew off with another bird, being a young female, but poor old Tom was left on his own.’

Waimanu Lagoon

Thomas went on to father his own children with another female goose. But, they were stolen by George, another goose, who raised them as his own.

Peryer explained: ‘You would see George and the babies with Thomas just following them around.’

Thomas’s eyesight soon began to fail and he was attacked by swans.

He was moved from his home next to New Zealand lake, Waimanu Lagoon, to the Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust in 2013.

Waimanu Lagoon is in Waikanae, on New Zealand’s North Island.

Thomas spent his final years raising orphaned cygnets.

Peryer estimates Thomas was 38 years old. He was buried under the commemorative stone which marks where Henry was also buried.

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