Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium welcomed four new baby penguins while they were closed down due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The Penguin chicks started hatching from May 18, and the last chick arrived on Thursday, May 21.
According to the Aquariums press release, the Magellanic penguin chicks (Spheniscus magellanicus) weighed around “66-85 grams upon hatch.” However, the chicks have grown and now weigh around “1200 and 2000 grams.”
The press release also mentioned, “All four chicks are being raised by adults who feed and incubate the baby birds. With four new arrivals, this is the most Magellanic penguins born and bred at the aquarium following the annual breeding season.”
The team at Shedd Aquarium is checking up on the baby chicks daily to make sure they do not suffer from growth problems and are getting enough nutrients. The chicks will grow fully after at least three months. Until then, they need to be taken care of by specialists.
Since the Aquarium has been shut down since March due to the global pandemic, the animals have been feeling restless. The baby penguins “are getting more mobile and curious, so they’ve started cautiously exploring their surroundings.”
Furthermore, Shedd Aquarium shared some more good news with the public recently. In another press release, they announced that they will be reopening the Aquarium to visitors from July onward. The statement read, “Aquarium members will be among the first welcomed back beginning Wednesday, July 1 followed by the general public on Friday, July 3.”
President and CEO of Shedd Aquarium, Bridget Coughlin said, “After closing our doors for nearly four months to do our part in supporting public health, we are elated at the opportunity to welcome people back to Shedd Aquarium to look nature in the eye and in person at the aquarium.”
“These last few months have challenged and fundamentally changed us all,” she also added. “Just as people across Chicago and the world relied on online and digital experiences with animals like the rockhopper penguin, Wellington, for comfort, we know seeing animals in person is irreplaceable. We are eager to welcome the communities that supported us and our reopening. Experiencing our Mission alongside all of Chicago fuels us and has never been more important than it is now.”
The pandemic has caused a lot of Aquariums and Zoo’s to shut their doors. To help the animals residing at Shedd Aquarium, people can symbolically “adopt a penguin“. They will receive a plush penguin in return and their donation will help the animal grow at the aquarium.