“While this may be a strange time for us, these days feel normal for animals at Shedd."

By Alison Fox
Updated March 17, 2020
A blackhopper penguin.
REDA&CO/Getty Images

As so much of the world practices social distancing and hunkers down at home, a few penguins in Chicago decided to use their time indoors wisely — with a field trip.

Several rockhopper penguins at the Shedd Aquarium, which is currently closed, took a little trip around the building, with their curiosity being the exact dose of cuteness the world needs right now.

On Sunday, handlers captured an extra curious penguin named Wellington on video making his way to the Amazon section of the aquarium, seemingly fascinated by the giant fish in the tanks surrounding him.

“Penguins in the Amazon?! 🐧🌴,” the beloved Chicago aquarium wrote on Twitter. “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.”

But the adventures didn’t stop there.

On Monday, the penguins continued their walk with Edward and Annie — a bonded couple — taking off to explore the Southeast Asian Streams exhibit before strolling around the rotunda together. According to the aquarium, Edward and Annie are expected to start building their nest together next week so a leisurely waddle around the aquarium seems like the perfect date to us.

“While this may be a strange time for us, these days feel normal for animals at Shedd,” the aquarium wrote on social media. “Our caregivers are constantly providing new experiences for the animals to explore and express their natural behaviors with.”

And much like kids around the world who are being home-schooled due to closures, the tour of the building is also educational for the penguins.

“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.”

And the aquarium said the fun won’t stop there, encouraging all penguin lovers to digitally tune in for “nesting coverage” soon.

The Shedd closed last week due to coronavirus concerns and hopes to reopen on March 29.

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