CHICAGO (CBS) — The penguins at Shedd Aquarium are making even more friends as they continue exploring the facility while it’s closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest field trip for the penguins brought them face-to-face with the beluga whales in the Oceanarium habitat, and the whales proved just as curious as the penguins.
While the penguins waddled around and stared at the belugas, the whales stopped their swimming and gathered at the Oceanarium windows to stare back at the birds.
Beluga whales are native to the northern hemisphere, and penguins are found only in the southern hemisphere, so the two species likely would never see each other in the wild.
Wellington and the other penguins may have met some animals at Shedd Aquarium that are just as curious as they are. The 32-year-old rockhopper was one of several penguins that visited the Underwater Viewing area of Shedd’s Oceanarium habitat, which is home to several beluga whales.
The penguins have been taking a few field trips inside the Shedd since it closed to the public earlier this month. Their adventure started a couple weeks ago, when some of the penguins visited the Amazon Rising exhibit, to see some of the fishes.
Later, the penguins checked out the Shedd Aquarium rotunda, checking out the information kiosk, and visiting the Caribbean Reef exhibit. They and the other animals also got a chance to party for St. Patrick’s Day.
Last week, some of the penguins made their way to the Underwater Beauty special exhibit, where they spent time taking in the bold patterns of several fish like the anthias and angelfish, and watching spotted jellies.
The penguins aren’t the only animals exploring other habitats at the Shedd. Tyson, a five-year-old porcupine, also went on a field trip at the aquarium. He chomped on a snack while watching the penguins in the Polar Play Zone. At first, the staff said he was curious about the birds. But later he wanted to interact with his caretakers.
The Shedd is closed to the public through April 20, but staff plan plenty of enrichment activities to keep the animals busy until then.