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Coronavirus closed this aquarium, so the penguins got to have a private tour instead

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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Many public spaces in Chicago are currently shuttered because of the pandemic, and the aquarium is no exception. So the handlers decided to let the penguins have the run of the place for a morning and the video is adorable. 

Shedd Aquarium is one of the venues in Chicago that has shut its doors because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The aquarium, which usually welcomes some two million visitors every year, has closed as part of the city’s efforts to practice social-distancing in order to halt the spread of the virus.

But that doesn’t mean that the exhibits, which include beluga whales, stingrays and sturgeons, aren’t being enjoyed by visitors. Shedd Aquarium handlers have decided to open the building up to their penguins, allowing the animals to roam free in the absence of any human guests. 

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The aquarium filmed the penguin’s visit and shared the resulting video on social media. Watching the footage of these penguins as they wander the empty aquarium is not only strangely soothing, but reassuring too. 

The penguins visited several exhibits, including the Amazon collection – one of them was particularly interested in the black-barred silver dollar fish swimming around.

“Our caretakers are committed to providing enriching activities… for the animals,” Shedd Aquarium said on Twitter. “With or without guests here to see it.”

Speaking to the Chicago Tribune, a spokesperson for the organisation added: “Without guests in the building, caretakers are getting creative in how they provide enrichment to animals. Introducing new experiences, activities, foods and more to keep them active, encourage them to explore, problem-solve and express natural behaviours.”

The little waddling explorers won fans on social media as soon as the videos were shared.

Roam free, little penguins. Roam free. 

You’re bringing us all so much joy just through your curiosity and adventures. 

Images: Unsplash

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.

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