A pair of female penguins are raising a chick together at Sea Life London Aquarium and staff at the aquarium have elected not to gender the chick, in a move that is sure to ruffle conservative feathers.
Penguins Rocky and Marama made headlines earlier this year when they adopted an egg together, and now that the chick has hatched, the aquarium is back in the headlines by not gendering the chick.
The chick will be given a gender-neutral name and has been given a purple armband for identification purposes.
All of the other penguins at the aquarium to date have been given gendered names.
“Gender neutrality in humans has only recently become a widespread topic of conversation,” Sea Life London general manager Graham McGrath told NBC News earlier today.
“However, it is completely natural for penguins to develop genderless identities as they grow into mature adults.”
There have been many documented cases of male pairs of penguins adopting abandoned eggs and then parenting chicks together, but this is one of only a few known cases where female penguins have started a family together.
Gentoo penguins are native to Antarctica and the Falkland Islands.
A male pair of Gentoo penguins have been raising a chick together at Sydney’s Sea Life Aquarium since October last year.