A pair of gay penguins in Germany who were given an egg by the London aquarium is set to raise a genderless or a gender-neutral chick. Female penguins Rocky and Marama were gifted the egg by Sea Life London for exhibiting parental qualities. The aquarium said that the four-month-old Gentoo penguin chick will not be characterised as male or female. Instead, it will be the world’s first penguin to not have a gender assigned. Gay Penguin Couple Sphengic From Sydney Welcome Their Baby, View Cute Pic of The Newly-Born Penguin Chick.
The centre in a press release said that while experts at the aquarium usually give newborn penguins names based on their gender, in this case, they "decided it was more natural for the chick to grow and develop into a mature adult as genderless which is normal in the wild until they mature". A purple tag has been attached on its wing so it can be identified.
Talking about the decision to identify the penguin as "genderless", General Manager Graham McGrath said, "While the decision may ruffle a few feathers, gender neutrality in humans has only recently become a widespread topic of conversation, however, it is completely natural for penguins to develop genderless identities as they grow into mature adults."
Earlier the aquarium said that the chick is being raised by two female penguins to relieve the penguin's birth mother from the pressure of raising two chicks. The centre decided to give Rocky and Marama the responsibility after they prove to be "close couple" for the past six breeding seasons.
Dr Gemma Clucas, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, said that male and female penguins showed little difference beyond biological characteristics. It is very difficult to distinguish their differences. Rocky and Marama are not the first same-sex penguin parents, in August, two male king penguins adopted an egg at a Berlin. They were presented with an egg after they earnestly tried to hatch an egg. Zoos in London, Sydney and New York also have same-sex penguin couples.