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Same-sex penguin couple to raise first ‘gender-neutral’ chick at London aquarium

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A same-sex penguin couple will raise what may be the world’s first “genderless” chick, a London aquarium announced Tuesday.

The four-month-old baby will be raised by two female penguins, Rocky and Marama, at Sea Life London without a gendered name or a specified gender, CNN reported.

“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 CNN obtained.

In captivity, though, penguin chicks are usually given gender-based names and marked with tags to identify their gender. This penguin has been marked with a purple tag, media reports say.{mosads}

Sea Life London provided the couple with the chick after they showed their commitment to each other for the past six breeding seasons. They also successfully demonstrated their ability to create a nest. The chick came from a mother who already had another baby to raise, CNN reported.

“This was the first time we had successfully adopted a chick onto a same-sex couple and to mark the parenting achievements of Rocky and Marama in helping to develop the chick into a happy and healthy penguin,” Sea Life wrote in a statement reported by NBC. “It made sense to continue to allow it to be identified more naturally by staff and guests at the aquarium in the future.”

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