Shedd Aquarium Penguin Celebrates 33rd Birthday Reaching Double The Typical Life Expectancy

Elliot McGowan Elliot McGowan

Shedd Aquarium Penguin Celebrates 33rd Birthday Reaching Double The Typical Life Expectancy

Wellington is earning a name for himself.

One of the Shedd Aquarium’s famous penguins, Wellington, is turning 33 years old at the end of the week. 33 years is more than twice the life expectancy of a rockhopper penguin in the wild and the beloved aquarium puts it down to the first-class care Wellington and the other rockhopper penguins receive. With regular visits from the aquarium vet, a healthy diet, and an ultra-clean habitat many of the penguins at Shedd Aquarium have now surpassed the average life expectancy of a wild rockhopper penguin.

Wellington is the same notorious penguin who had a captivating encounter with a beluga whale back in March of this year.


They say everybody has 15 minutes of fame, but for Wellington, it looks as though making the papers is becoming a normal occurrence for the 33-year-old penguin. The beluga whale encounter was not Wellington’s first documented adventure. A few weeks before the celebrity penguin Wellington met some energetic sea otters and then had a stare-off with some black-barred silver dollars in the Amazon Rising! He also found time to hold a video chat with Pierre the Perth Zoo penguin this month.

On Wednesday, November 18 Shedd Aquarium closed its doors to the public once again amidst the second wave of COVID-19. Since then the essential staff at the Shedd Aquarium have been taking care of Wellington and the other 32,000 animals while maintaining the facility behind closed doors. The aquarium has instead been offering digital programs making sure visitors can still learn and interact with the animals of the aquarium. Live online adventures such as close-up animal encounters, virtual slumber party events, live cameras, and free informative episodes and activities can be enjoyed via the Shedd Aquarium’s website.

Provided the current situation has improved and the safety of people, animals, and the community can be ensured the aquarium hopes to reopen on Saturday, January 2 of 2021. You can attend Wellington’s birthday bash and wish the rockhopper penguin a happy third-third hatchiversary here.

[Image from Twitter / @Shedd_Aquarium]

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