A British Aquarium has announced that a Gentoo penguin chick adopted by a same-sex set of penguin parents will be raised as gender-neutral by its keepers.
According to a CNN report, the chick will not be named or characterized as male or female. Sea Life aquarium in London told the network that it will be "the world's first penguin to not have its gender assigned." If the "genderless" penguin is eventually named, it will be given a gender-neutral name, a report at the Daily Mail explains.
This is all happening because aquarists "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," according to a news release.
"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," general manager Graham McGrath said in a statement.
The chick has been adopted by a pair of female penguins named Rocky and Marama after a female in the colony was unable to care for it.
"What makes us really proud at the aquarium is the success of Sea Life London's Gentoo breeding program and the amazing job of same-sex penguins Rocky and Marama who took the chick under their wing and raised it as their own," McGrath said.
This is the second big story involving same-sex penguins to make headlines recently. Back in August, multiple outlets reported on the story of a pair of male penguins at a zoo in Berlin that had adopted an abandoned egg.