The usual familiar faces were replaced with four curious Magellanic penguins.
In their latest high-profile field trip, four of the Shedd Aquarium’s inquisitive penguins were treated to an exclusive tour of Chicago’s FRIENDS™ exhibit soon to reopen on Michigan Avenue.
The Magellanic penguins, “Howard”, “Georgia”, “Fitz”, and “Mercedes” waddled through several set replicas from the hit tv show and enjoyed a day of exercise away from their usual aquatic abode.
After going “on a break” due to COVID-19, the immersive, two-story FRIENDS™ Experience is due to reopen in Chicago on Wednesday, March 17 but these four Shedd penguins were lucky enough to be given VIP entry before the crowds return to the nostalgia-packed experience.
The birds can be seen walking through various familiar rooms and experiencing new sensations and sights, like Joey’s stuffed toy penguin Hugsy. They roamed Monica’s apartment and even spent some time catching up in Central Perk.
It’s not the first time the penguins have been let loose on an adventure. When the Shedd Aquarium closed during the first wave of COVID-19 staff began taking penguins out on excursions and videos of the Shedd Aquarium’s adventurous penguins quickly went viral on more than one occasion. Two befuddled penguins “Tilly” and “Carmen” wandered far from their aquarium exhibit in March of last year and came face to face with Kayavak the Beluga whale.
Time for a polar field trip! 🐧🐳❄️ Penguins Tilly and near-yearling Carmen came face to face with beluga Kayavak. Not all penguins live in super cold regions. Magellanic penguins like Tilly and Carmen are temperate-weather birds. pic.twitter.com/oDZUL1NIG1
— Shedd Aquarium (@shedd_aquarium) March 29, 2020
This was followed up with subsequent excursions slightly further afield to The Field Museum where “Izzy” and “Darwin” came face to face with Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex, and another to Soldier Field where “Izzy” “Charlotte,” “Darwin,” and “Tombo” waddled around the pitch and explored the changing rooms.
I tried to teach them how to pose, but clearly they didn’t understand. https://t.co/yBRaRSTo1K
— SUE the T. rex 🦖 (@SUEtheTrex) July 9, 2020
According to Shedd Aquarium representatives, the field trips are organized by the animal care team as a way of “introducing exercise and variety for the penguins each day as part of a comprehensive welfare plan.
[Featured image from Shedd Aquarium / Brenna Hernandez]