With No Visitors, Chicago Aquarium Lets Penguins Look At All The Exhibits
By Dave Basner
March 17, 2020
Like many places in America, Chicago's Shedd Aquarium has closed to help prevent the rapid spread of coronavirus. While there are no visitors going to the attraction, there is still a staff of caretakers for the animals on duty. With halls empty from being closed to the public, workers there decided to use it as an opportunity to let the aquarium's Rockhopper penguins meet some of their neighbors. They allowed a few of the birds to waddle around other exhibits, and uploaded the results to Facebook, where they are now going viral.
Wellington the penguin was especially interested in the fish in the Amazon Rising display, while Edward and Annie preferred to tour the rotunda area.
A Chicago aquarium closed its doors for two weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic—so these Rockhopper penguins got to go check out the other exhibits!— ABC News (@ABC) March 17, 2020
Although the aquarium is closed to the public, care staff are onsite for the animals. https://t.co/SiHjZ9cBcR pic.twitter.com/5w0WAEMr10
Edward and Annie are actually a bonded pair, which means they are together for nesting season. Even though COVID-19 is affecting humans' lives, penguin routines are continuing as normal and next week, Edward and Annie will begin to build their nest. The aquarium will be sharing that process online so everyone can watch it from the safety of their homes.
The adventure continues! 🐧🐧 This morning, Edward and Annie explored the rotunda. They are a bonded pair of rockhopper penguins, which means they are together for nesting season. Every spring is nesting season for the penguins here at Shedd, and this year is no different! Next week, penguins, including Edward and Annie, will begin to build their nests. You’re invited to digitally join us for the nesting coverage! In the meantime, we will share a variety of animal activities, and yes, Wellington will return! While this may be a strange time for us, these days are relatively normal for the penguins and other animals at Shedd. Our caregivers are constantly providing new activities, experiences, food and more to allow the animals to express natural behaviors—even if that includes simply exploring. Let us know what penguin activities you want to see! 👇Posted by Shedd Aquarium on Monday, March 16, 2020
The aquarium promises to continue to post other videos of animal activities, including more clips of the penguins. On Facebook, they explained, "While this may be a strange time for us, these days are relatively normal for the penguins and other animals at Shedd. Our caregivers are constantly providing new activities, experiences, food and more to allow the animals to express natural behaviors—even if that includes simply exploring."
Head to their Facebook page to make a suggestion on which activities you'd like to see the penguins engage in.