London aquarium to raise ‘genderless’ baby penguin -

edit: added a meatier article source. original is here.
London (CNN)A same-sex penguin couple will raise an adopted "genderless" chick for the first time, a London aquarium announced Tuesday.
The four-month-old Gentoo penguin chick will not be named or characterized as male or female, Sea Life London said.
The chick is being raised by two female penguins Rocky and Marama, who were given the egg to relieve the penguin's birth mother of the pressure of raising two chicks.
It will be "the world's first penguin to not have its gender assigned," Sea Life London said.
Experts at the aquarium usually give newborn penguins gender-based names, but in this case "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," the centre said in a press release. The chick has been fitted with a purple tag on its wing so it can be identified.
"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," said General Manager Graham McGrath.
"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," he added.
Rocky and Marama were given the responsibility of raising a chick after showing themselves to be a "close couple" for the past six breeding seasons and proving that they could create nesting conditions to raise a chick, the aquarium said.
The penguin may later be incorporated into Sea Life London's breeding program, "depending on the gender its biology determines," the aquarium added.
Dr Gemma Clucas, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, said that male and female penguins displayed little difference beyond biological characteristics, which required close and "difficult" observation to distinguish.
"The two sexes in penguins behave very similarly to one another,"she told CNN. "They look almost identical to one another. Behaviorally, they act very similarly as well, particularly in terms of reproduction -- both males and females invest pretty equally in raising their chicks."
Rocky and Marama are not the first same-sex penguin parents -- in August, two male king penguins at a zoo in Berlin adopted an egg. Other zoos in London, Sydney and New York have also had same-sex penguin couples.
Gentoo penguins have "near-threatened" status in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, as a result of climate change affecting their feeding and nesting habits, Sea Life London said.

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fat bird
I'm pretty chilled out about exploring gender identities in humans but purposely not assigning a gender to an animal who has no concept of gender identity itself is just stupid. All penguins of the same species look the same, it's their behaviour that differs and "raising a genderless penguin" wont change any of that innate behaviour.

That is probably fine. I am pretty confident if I found out that somebody had a bird and did not know if it was male or female I would not care.
My dad had a parakeet that was too vicious to let anyone near its undercarriage. It was fine as a skwaking agender asshole.

Tasty Tatty
Aside from those people who are obsessed with their pets, have you ever met a person wo raised theirs in a very specific way due to their gender? I've owned male and female animals of all kinds, and I never said "well, you can't leave the house because you're a girl!!", not I've tried to make them wear stupid clothes. What kind of "preconceived gender roles" one person can have about a penguin??? Animals act on pure instinct, for god's sake...

Spastic Colon
It's a fucking penguin...
Are they assuming that penguins speak English and that the only reason that a penguin knows whether it is male or female is because the zookeepers told them that they were one or the other?

And when it behaves exactly like a penguin of its sex naturally behaves, will this be accepted as proof that your sex is innate and not a social construct?

This is literally one of the dumbest PR stunts a zoo has ever tried to pull. I can't wait for another zoo to one up them with claims that they have an actual "trans" penguin.


Bully in a bully-free zone
True & Honest Fan
"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," said General Manager Graham McGrath.
Sounds pretty presumptuous to me. I seriously doubt anything in nature has a "genderless identity" as being ruled by instinct means being ruled by unique or not so unique biological urges. Even if they act similar to humans, to other penguins it might seem very different. And that's assuming the creatures are intelligent enough to have any identity at all.
I really hate how these people are trying to push stupid human garbage onto animals to pretend their made-up garbage happens naturally.

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