Penguins Take Another Field Trip Around Shedd Aquarium - This Time Meeting Beluga Whales

Shannon Blum
March 31, 2020 - 11:03 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Wellington the penguin, who became famous when the Shedd Aquarium took their penguins on field trip around the aquarium to experience what it is like to be on the other side of the glass, made some new friends during another field trip.

Over the weekend, Wellington and some the other penguins visited the Underwater Viewing area of Shedd’s Oceanarium habitat, which is home to several beluga whales.

"The belugas abruptly stopped their swimming to take in the penguins. The whales, including Annik the calf born last year, collectively gathered at the window to take in Wellington and the other birds, who stared back as they waddled back and forth," the Shedd said in a statement.

The Shedd Aquarium posted a video on Twitter, reading "Wellington, meet the belugas! This weekend, Wellington visited Kayavak, Mauyak and baby Annik, who were very curious about this little rockhopper. Belugas are northern hemisphere animals, so they would likely never see a penguin!"

The video posted Monday already have over 1.3 million views and has been retweeted 25,000 times.

The penguins have been taking a few field trips around the Shedd since it closed to the public earlier this month. During their first adventure, a group of rockhopper penguins, including Wellington, met some fish in the Amazon exhibit.

"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," the aquarium wrote. 

Then penguins, Edward and Annie explored the rotunda.

"They are a bonded pair of rockhopper penguins, which means they are together for nesting season. Every spring is nesting season for the penguins here at Shedd, and this year is no different! Next week, penguins, including Edward and Annie, will begin to build their nests. You’re invited to digitally join us for the nesting coverage!" the Shedd wrote in a post.

"In the meantime, we will share a variety of animal activities, and yes, Wellington will return! While this may be a strange time for us, these days are relatively normal for the penguins and other animals at Shedd. Our caregivers are constantly providing new activities, experiences, food and more to allow the animals to express natural behaviors—even if that includes simply exploring. Let us know what penguin activities you want to see!"

Since the first two videos, the Shedd Aquarium has posted more videos on Facebook of the penguins exploring the aquarium, as well as Tyson the porcupine visiting the penguins.

The Shedd Aquarium originally announced they would be temporarily closed to the public for two weeks through Sunday, March 29.  The aquarium has since announced the extension of the closure through April 20.

"While we are disappointed that we won’t be able to welcome you to the Aquarium during this time, we are closing out of an abundance of caution and to do our part in the social distancing efforts to help stop the further spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19)," the institution said in a statement. 

Those wanting to stay connected, can go behind-the-scenes via Shedd’s Facebook,  Twitter , and Instagram, as well as explore, experience and learn more about the aquatic animal world through their other digital resources.