An aquarium has let its penguins explore and visit other animals after closing to humans.
Staff at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago decided to make the best of a bad situation for its animals after closing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which was recently declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In a tweet, the aquarium announced its closure, writing: "As part of preventative measures to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Shedd Aquarium will be temporarily closed for the next two weeks."
This was shortly followed by a video revealing that while no humans would be having fun at the aquarium for the next two weeks, at least, its penguins were being given the opportunity to explore its empty walkways and meet other animals.Watch them exploring below:
The video above was captioned: "Penguins in the Amazon?! Some of the penguins went on a field trip to meet other animals at Shedd. Wellington seemed most interested in the fishes in Amazon Rising! The black-barred silver dollars also seemed interested in their unusual visitor."
This video was then followed by another update about the penguins' activities in the empty aquarium.
It read: "The adventure continues! This morning, Edward and Annie explored Shedd's rotunda. They are a bonded pair of rockhopper penguins, which means they are together for nesting season. Springtime is nesting season for penguins at Shedd, and this year is no different!"Watch Edward and Annie below:
The zoo then explained that Edward and Anne will begin to build their nests next week, and even though it is closed, people can still keep up with their activities thanks to the internet.
"Penguins like Edward and Annie will begin to build their nests next week," the zoo wrote. "Join us digitally for nesting coverage! In the meantime, we will be sharing lots of different animal updates (and yes, Wellington will return!)"
While life, for many, has been turned upside down because of the coronavirus, the zoo explained that for the animals, at least, there was a sense of normality at the zoo.
The zoo wrote: "While this may be a strange time for us, these days feel normal for animals at Shedd. Our caregivers are constantly providing new experiences for the animals to explore and express their natural behaviors with. Let us know what penguin activities you would like to see!"
The news comes as the World Health Organisation's most recent report revealed that there have been a total of 167, 511 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, and 6,606 deaths.