This story is sure to warm your heart! A London aquarium revealed a pair of lesbian penguins has adopted a chick and will raise it with a gender-neutral name.
The two mother penguins are named Rocky and Marama, Unilad reports, and live at the Sea Life London aquarium. They adopted a newborn chick four months ago after building their very own nest. The chick was born to a different female penguin in the enclosure who’d given birth to two eggs. Aquarium employees removed one of the eggs, however, in order to reduce the stress of the mother-to-be. The egg was then placed in the lesbian penguins’ nest and has since hatched.
The aquarium has yet to name the little one but has revealed they’ll be giving it a gender-neutral moniker, like Kelly, Alex, or Charlie. Staff are able to identify the chick thanks to a purple tag on its wing, which was chosen as it’s seen as a gender-neutral colour. This marks the first time the aquarium has chosen to raise an animal without a gender.
The aquarium has defended its decision against backlash, explaining that penguins have genderless identities before reaching maturity in the wild.
“While the decision may ruffle a few feathers, gender neutrality in humans has only recently become a widespread topic of conversation,” Graham McGrath, the General Manager at the aquarium, explained.
“However, it is completely natural for penguins to develop genderless identities as they grow into mature adults,” he explained. “What makes us really proud at the aquarium is the success of SEA LIFE London’s Gentoo breeding programme and the amazing job of same sex penguins Rocky and Marama who took the chick under their wing and raised it as their own.”
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The aquarium says the mother penguins have adapted well to their new role and appear to be dividing the parenting responsibilities evenly. McGrath continued, “Marama and Rocky have taken to becoming parents like ducks to water – or should I say penguins.”
The manager added, “Caring for a newborn is tough for anyone, from the sleepless nights to the constant feeding, yet this wonderful pair of penguin parents are completely unflappable and seem to be taking it all in their stride.”
We can’t wait to hear more updates on how Marama and Rocky are adjusting to motherhood!