Penguins take ‘field trip’ at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium while it is closed due to coronavirus

Chicago aquarium closed due to coronavirus; penguins take ‘field trip’ through exhibit

CHICAGO — It was just another day at the zoo for these penguins -- but they got to see the other animals for a change.

Shedd Aquarium tweeted a video of three of its rockhopper penguins cruising through the Chicago attraction. The aquarium was forced to close after Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered the shutdown of public events and gathering of more than 1,000 people. and also asked that crowds numbering more than 250 also be halted.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also followed suit Friday, the Chicago Tribune reported.

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The penguins -- Annie, Edward and Wellington -- roamed through the aquarium’s Amazon Rising exhibit, the newspaper reported.

According to a news release from the aquarium, Wellington appeared enamored by the freshwater fish in the exhibits, including red-bellied piranhas and black-barred silver dollars, WMAQ reported.

“Those same fish seemed equally interested in Wellington, meaning the penguins aren’t the only animals receiving enrichment from these pop-up field trips,” according to the news release.

The video notes the enrichment might be more of a dinner possibility, the Tribune reported.

“Without guests in the building, caretakers are getting creative in how they provide enrichment to animals,” the aquarium in its news release. Aquarium officials are “introducing new experiences, activities, foods and more to keep them active, encourage them to explore, problem-solve and express natural behaviors.”

The aquarium is scheduled to reopen to the public March 29, WMAQ reported.

Penguins were able to march through Chicago's Shedd Aquarium while the attraction was closed to the public.
Penguins were able to march through Chicago's Shedd Aquarium while the attraction was closed to the public. (Junko Kimura/Getty Images)