The Shedd Aquarium closed its doors for humans on Sunday but opened them for a group of rockhopper penguins to explore.
Penguins at an aquarium in Chicago got to do something they had never done before. Being one of the most popular attractions of the Shedd Aquarium, the penguins were used to being looked at, however, that changed on Sunday. The building had been closed for visitors in an effort to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus, which allowed a group of rockhopper penguins to leave their habitat and get a taste of the world on the other side of the glass for a change. Speaking to the Chicago Tribune, the aquarium said, "Without guests in the building, caretakers are getting creative in how they provide enrichment to animals."
Penguins in the Amazon?! 🐧🌴— Shedd Aquarium (@shedd_aquarium) March 15, 2020
Some of the penguins went on a field trip to meet other animals at Shedd. Wellington seemed most interested in the fishes in Amazon Rising! The black-barred silver dollars also seemed interested in their unusual visitor. pic.twitter.com/KgYWsp5VQD
The pandemic that has forced people to go into self-quarantine has also helped these birds enjoy a few moments of freedom outside their glassy cage. "Introducing new experiences, activities, foods and more to keep them active, encourage them to explore, problem-solve and express natural behaviors," they added. Taking to their Twitter account, the establishment posted a video of one of the penguins named Wellington meeting some fishes in their Amazon exhibit, and it is simply adorable. Penguins in the Amazon?! 🐧🌴 Some of the penguins went on a field trip to meet other animals at Shedd. Wellington seemed most interested in the fishes in Amazon Rising! The black-barred silver dollars also seemed interested in their unusual visitor, read the tweet.
Looking forward to the next instalment to cheer up a cold an wet Blackpool evening— Donna Pasquill (@Pasquills) March 16, 2020
The heartwarming clip of Wellington adorably waddling around managed to put a smile across people's faces during trying times. It was viewed over 2 million times with twitter users thanking the staff for their amazing view. What a great idea to let the natives visit one another! Kudos to the staff. Thanks for making my day! wrote user Nan the Ram. While another @ArtExcursions shared: This is fantastic for Wellington! He looks like he had an awesome day. Love that he looks like he's experiencing sensory overload. And the fish look excited to see him, too. Multi-species enrichment activity. We need daily "Wellington's Adventures at the Shedd" updates! :-)
I love the aquarium! I have beautiful memories of it. One of my favorite trips. Thank you for taking good care of all these little fellas. We'll be certainly following!💙😃— Ursula Rodríguez (@ursularodriguez) March 17, 2020
Many backed this request and asked for a longer version of Wellington's journey. When @chelsea_celina3 asked, Can we please get more of this?? the Shedd Aquarium immediately responded: We plan to! Without guests in the building, our animal caretakers are planning even more creative activities for the penguins and other animals. This was followed by an outpour of comments. Love this, brought a smile to me in canada. Going in semi lockdown now. Keep this up!!! I am following. Went there 5 years ago. Live the aquarium," expressed one. Can we by any chance request an aquarium live feed of penguin antics while all wait out this corona mess? This thread is soooo great! Needed that adorbs critter fix today. Might do us all good. It could be big on your YT. I’d be happy to share the links if you did, added another.
YAY! This is worth self isolating for 😍— s'meeeeeee👋 (@LaurseyK) March 17, 2020
The aquarium plans to remain closed until March 29, and it's one of many attractions across the country that has shut down to limit the spread of the COVID-19. With over 3,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US, the government is implementing the necessary restrictions to contain it. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker ordered bars and restaurants to remain close to the public until March 30, reports CNN. However, we hope that the Shedd Aquarium continues posting videos of its cute residents to provide us much-needed relief during this crisis that has everyone worried.
Welp I’m following this page until the end of days 😭😭😭— VerucaSalty (@TeamVeruca) March 17, 2020
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