Shedd Aquarium rockhopper penguin Wellington celebrates milestone birthday, turning 33

Aquarium temporarily closed during Chicago coronavirus pandemic
CHICAGO (WLS) -- One of the Shedd Aquarium's famous penguins will celebrate a milestone birthday this weekend.

"Wellington" the rockhopper penguin will be 33 years old. That's more than double the typical life expectancy of a penguin in the wild.

Aquarium officials said his long lifespan is due to the top-notch care he gets.

Wellington has regular visits with the vet, a clean habitat and high-quality food, officials said.

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Several of Chicago's Shedd Aquarium penguins got to meet some beluga whales on their latest field trip adventure around the facility.

Learn more about Wellington and the rest of the Shedd's animals on their website.

The aquarium announced last month that it decided to voluntarily close through the new year "as part of a commitment to the health and safety of the community" during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The aquarium is targeted to reopen on Saturday, Jan. 2.

Essential staff at the aquarium will continue to care for the animals and facilities as well as produce digital content for guests at home.

During the facility's closure earlier this year, the Shedd penguins went virtual, after staff decided to take some of them on field trips. The Shedd shared videos showing Wellington wandering through the closed aquarium and visiting other animals.

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Chicago Shedd Aquarium launches a new virtual encounter for an up-close look at the lives of their penguins.

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