In New York, a new attraction is opening which aims to provide an alternative view of animal nature. The world's only transsexual zoo for transgender animals opens today in Queens, New York. It is run by local personality and drag queen Reginald Hoof (Mrs).
Mrs Hoof got the idea for her animal sanctuary when she discovered that her pet hamster was, like herself, a woman trapped in a man's body - or in the case of the pet, a lady hamster trapped in a man's body. She began to buy dresses and makeup for the creature, and says that the hamster has never been happier.
She told me that she soon found that there are many animals around the world who feel pressured into a certain gender role that they are not comfortable with. Her zoo contains peacocks who don't display their feathers, female tarantulas who don't eat their partners after mating, male lions who enjoy hunting, and hens who don't lay eggs.
In the zoo, the animals are offered counselling and support. Visitors pay to get in and it is hoped that the money raised will help comfort the animals as they adapt to their new gender identities.
Mrs Hoof told me that she has some news about the zoo's male elephant, Jumbo. "We're so excited about Jumbo!" she squealed. "He's going to be the first animal ever to undergo gender reassignment surgery. He's a pre-op transsexual elephant at the moment, but we've booked him in for surgery next week. Maybe we'll shorten his tusks and give him some breast implants too. He loves wearing a ball gown, you know - large size of course."
"It's important that people, and animals, are allowed to modify their bodies to match how they feel inside. Like me! I've always felt like a woman, and now I've mutilated my male body so that I look like a woman too. Soon Jumbo will be the same."