(TMU) — As the gravity and scale of the CoViD-19 pandemic sinks in, people across the world are being advised to self-isolate while governments close borders and emergency laws are put in place to limit travel and the number of people allowed to gather. Across the world, sporting events have been cancelled and restaurants, clubs, theaters, and other facilities are closing their doors to the public in an effort to limit the spread of the virus.
Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium is no exception. With around 2 million visitors to the aquarium each year, the facility has closed its doors to the public for two weeks to help protect the community.
A notice on their website reads: “In the best interest of overall wellness for our community and for each other, Shedd Aquarium is temporarily closed to the public for two weeks through Sunday, March 29. During this period, all scheduled events and programs will be cancelled but may be rescheduled to a later date.”
Wellington meets the sea otters! 🦦🐧 Wellington the rockhopper continued his field trip around the aquarium by visiting the sea otter habitat. At 32 years old, Wellington is no spring chicken (and not just because he’s a penguin!) He is more than double the life expectancy of a rockhopper! Thanks to laser therapy and cataract surgeries, he’s “still got it” and can enjoy going on enriching adventures. Where's Wellington going next? Stay tuned to find out!
Posted by Shedd Aquarium on Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Although the facility is now closed to human visitors, the aquarium, for the first time ever, had local penguin residents enjoy a walkabout that saw them exploring the facility. The event was captured on film, much to the delight of isolated humans.
The Shedd Aquarium, like many places that have been closed to visitors, is making an effort to engage with fans through various social media platform and the penguin tour was a definite hit!
Fans just loved the delightful penguins strutting their stuff around the Amazon Rising exhibit while they went about meeting fish and other animals. With over 100k likes on Twitter, the aquarium promised more video updates.
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.
Posted by Shedd Aquarium on Sunday, March 15, 2020
“While this may be a strange time for us, these days feel normal for animals at Shedd. Our caregivers are constantly providing new experiences for the animals to explore and express their natural behaviors with,” the aquarium wrote.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced last Friday that all public gatherings of 1,000 people or more were to be banned. For this reason, many venues and facilities had to close their doors.