It’s hard to deny that penguins make people very happy.
From Madagascar to Happy Feet, watching the funny little fish birds (my apologies to penguinologists) waddle around would bring a smile to anyone’s face.
That’s one of the reasons they have become a particular ambassador for Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, and their field trips are recorded for a world-wide audience.
In March of 2020, when Shedd was forced to close to the public due to Covid-19 restrictions, some enterprising keepers decided to entertain the penguins by letting them explore the zoo.
One year ago, our doors were closing…unless you were a penguin like Wellington, Edward, or Annie. 🐧 (1/2) pic.twitter.com/Ba7cmNLtym
— Shedd Aquarium (@shedd_aquarium) March 11, 2021
Posted to social media, in a world that was increasingly devoid of lighthearted news, the penguins and their antics were an instant hit.
Since then, the penguins have gone on more adventures than any of the rest of us!
They waddled around in the end zone of Soldier Field:
And visited The Friends Experience, a recreation of sets from the hit TV series:
And of course they continued to explore different parts of their own aquarium:
As the Director of Conservation Action, Jaclyn Wegner, explained to Fox News:
“The penguins at Shedd have brought joy to millions of people across the globe since the start of the pandemic, expanding the aquarium’s digital audience and enabling us to bring some of the world’s most pressing environmental issues to the forefront.”
And so, last month, the penguins did something a little different–and for a good cause.
They visited Shaw’s Crab House as part of a sustainability program called “Let’s Shedd Plastic.”
The penguins eat restaurant-quality seafood at Shedd. So when Magellanic penguins Tilly, Dolores and Olivia visited @shellyfromshaws, they found new sights to explore, & likely some familiar smells!
Why did the penguins visit a restaurant? 🐧🦀 Watch and find out: pic.twitter.com/E2YoK1T5HT
— Shedd Aquarium (@shedd_aquarium) March 25, 2021
Ms. Wegner told Fox more about that project, which should be near and dear to any penguin-lover’s heart:
“In this most recent visit to Shaw’s Crab House in Chicago, a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant, their natural curiosity helped us introduce an important conversation about plastic pollution plaguing our waterways.
This field trip to Shaw’s was also a celebration of the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group’s commitment to cut back on plastic use where possible, which came to fruition through Shedd’s new program for restaurants, called Let’s Shedd Plastic.
Since first launching this Let’s Shedd Plastic program a month ago, more than 140 restaurants have committed to cutting back on single-use plastic use.”
Very cool! I love it when good programs help make the Earth a better place!
So where will the penguins turn up next?
It’s anybody’s guess, but I have it on good authority that they would very much like to explore the Space Penguin of the Hydra constellation with a visit to their neighbors at Adler Planetarium next.
Aren’t they the best? What do you think about these curious little guys? Let us know in the comments!