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With the aquarium closed to humans, penguins take opportunity to explore and visit other animals

While Chicago's Shedd Aquarium has closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic, one Chicago resident was allowed a private tour: Wellington, the rockhopper penguin.

Posted: Mar 17, 2020 6:32 AM


The penguins at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago are usually the ones being looked at, since they are one of the most beloved attractions. But Sunday, they were able to get a taste of what it's like on the other side of the glass.

With the building closed to visitors to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, a group of rockhopper penguins were allowed to leave their habitat and explore the rest of the aquarium.

"Without guests in the building, caretakers are getting creative in how they provide enrichment to animals," the aquarium told the Chicago Tribune. "Introducing new experiences, activities, foods and more to keep them active, encourage them to explore, problem-solve and express natural behaviors."

The aquarium posted to Twitter a video of one of the penguins, named Wellington, meeting some fish in the Amazon exhibit.

"Wellington seemed most interested in the fishes in Amazon Rising!" the aquarium said in the tweet. "The black-barred silver dollars also seemed interested in their unusual visitor."

The adorable video of Wellington, waddling around with his flippers out, has been viewed more than 30,000 times as of Sunday evening and is putting smiles on people's faces during a time of national hardship.

"Thank you Shedd Aquarium for continuing to post...we need our smiles wherever we can get them," one Twitter user responded.

The aquarium, which is planning to be closed until March 29, is just one of dozens of attractions that have closed across the country to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

Sunday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered all bars and restaurants in the state to close to the public beginning Monday night and going to March 30.

Because Chicagoans won't have the flowing alcohol at bars to relieve their coronavirus anxieties, we can only hope the Shedd Aquarium will keep the cute animal content coming.

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