Places such as the Shedd Aquarium of Chicago may be closed for visitors right now due to the coronavirus outbreak but that doesn’t mean that their alleys remain empty. Last Sunday, a group of rockhopper penguins was allowed to take an extensive stroll around the aquarium and look at other animals.
“Without guests in the building, caretakers are getting creative in how they provide enrichment to animals,” representatives of 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 good folks at the Shedd Aquarium didn’t leave their would-be customers in the dark either and tweeted a video of the penguin Wellington taking a look at the Shedd’s Amazing fish exhibits.
“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.” they clarified. “The black-barred silver dollars also seemed interested in their unusual visitor.”
The video of the adorable penguin was viewed thousands of times, undoubtedly putting smiles on a lot of faces as the responses were more than positive.
“Thank you Shedd Aquarium for continuing to post…we need our smiles wherever we can get them,” one Twitter user said.
As of today, the aquarium, like many other establishments like it, plans to be closed until March 29 or until a later date if need be. This decision is in line with the Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s order that all bars and restaurants in the state should be closed until March 30 at the earliest.
Still, as depressing as that is, videos such as the one shared by Shedd Aquarium can help us feel a little better. Maybe penguins like Wellington will get to have even more fun around the aquarium? Rockhopper penguins are naturally curious birds and they’re not overly large either – just ~20 inches of height – so if the areas they are releasing them in are small enough there isn’t much damage or trouble several curious penguins can cause.
Hopefully more aquariums and other similar establishments will also brighten our moods with such videos soon? We’ll see – with the coronavirus outbreak getting more and more extensive, businesses relying on visitors will have to try everything they can think of to remain relevant and to retain the public’s attention.