WARSAW – A pair of amorous Polish donkeys have recovered their right to make love in public after a local official sought to keep them apart.
The scandal erupted earlier this week when zoo-goers saw the animals, which have already produced six offspring over their decade together, coupling in plain view. Two appalled mothers expressed outrage over the act at the zoo in the western city of Poznan, complaining that the scene was unsuitable for young eyes.
They found a sympathetic ear in local councillor Lidia Dudziak, from the opposition Law and Justice (PiS) party, who wasted no time in tackling the issue. Persuaded by her arguments, zoo management rapidly put up a fence between the donkeys, Napoleon and Antonina.
But the decision drew snickers and made headlines across the country. Napoleon was pictured in one of the tabloids with a long black bar across his eyes, as is the custom with photos of [criminal] suspects in Polish media, and another across his private parts.
The four-legged fornicators soon garnered a wave of sympathy. Experts spoke of the dire psychological consequences of a thwarted donkey libido, while thousands of web users signed a petition to reunite the couple.
On Thursday, zoo management issued an apology and backtracked, inviting the public to visit the reunited donkeys.
"It was never our intention for any animals to feel uncomfortable because of their natural behavior," the zoo said in a statement on its website.