With many zoos and aquariums closed to the public, keepers let animals roam empty hallways to meet their neighbors
The Atlanta Humane Society has taken some of their kittens and puppies to the Georgia Aquarium to get a break from quarantine. ( Atlanta Humane Society via Youtube )
By Nora McGreevy
APRIL 10, 2020 11:55AM
Since the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago closed to the public last month, beluga whales Kayavak, Mauyak and baby Annik haven’t had many visitors. But recently, they greeted an unusual guest: a 30-year-old rockhopper penguin named Wellington, who waddled around on the side of the glass usually reserved for humans.
As the Aquarium notes in a Tweet, the belugas were “very curious about this little rockhopper. Belugas are northern hemisphere animals, so they would likely never see a penguin!”
While zoos and aquariums across the country remain closed to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors are limited to essential staff, reports Jason Bittel for the Washington Post. To fill the time—and the empty hallways—some caretakers are taking their wards on so-called “field trips” to meet other animals.
The trend makes for cute cross-species content and delights social media users, reports Joshua Bote for USA Today. In a YouTube video posted last month by the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut, a sea lion floats at eye level with a tegu, a large species of lizard, on the other side of its glass tank. The tegu flicks its tongue, and the sea lion keeps turning its head to look at the creature.