Shedd's Animal Homecoming!
In September 2008, Shedd Aquarium temporarily closed the doors of the Oceanarium to begin the reimagination process and important renovations to the exhibits, theater and overall guest experience. Many of our beloved animals that call the Oceanarium their home had to be relocated to other accredited aquariums across the country. After nearly nine months of being on vacation, Shedd Aquarium is excited to welcome home our beloved beluga whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, and Alaska sea otters. Shedd also welcomed some new animals to the Oceanarium family, including two California sea lions, temperate weather penguins, a new Pacific white-sided dolphin and several Pacific Northwest fishes. Click here to see the video of the transport home.
After their vacation at the Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration, beluga whales Naluark, Mauyak, Naya, Puiji, Kayavak, Bella, and Miki have returned home. According to their trainers, the biggest adjustment the beluga whales had to make while away was getting used to the snow and the seagulls in the outdoor exhibit at Mystic. They are currently enjoying exploring their new home in the Oceanarium.
Pacific White-sided Dolphins
Shedd's four Pacific white-sided dolphins spent their vacation at the Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration along with the beluga whales. Piquet and Katrl have returned home to Shedd, while Tique and Kri have been temporarily relocated to the Miami Seaquarium as part of the North American breeding cooperative. Pacific white-sided dolphin, Ohana, has arrived at Shedd from the Miami Seaquarium as part of the two accredited marine mammal organizations support of the North American breeding cooperative. Ohana was born at the Seaquarium in 2006 and will remain at Shedd while Kri and Tique are away.
California Sea Lions
Shedd's resident California sea lion, Tyler, remained in Shedd's care behind-the-scenes during the renovation and has moved to his new habitat just a few yards away. Shedd has acquired two California sea lions from the state of Washington as part of a relocation plan to protect endangered salmon at the Bonneville Dam along the Washington/Oregon border. The two sea lions — named Otis and Biff — were named for places along the Pacific Coast where they live.
Alaska Sea Otters
All five of Shedd's Alaska sea otters, one of which is an Exxon-Valdez oil spill survivor, have returned from their vacation at the Minnesota Zoo and are enjoying their new habitats and behind the scenes expansions of the new Oceanarium.
Twelve Rockhopper penguins remained in Shedd's care behind the scenes and have all moved to their new habitats a few yards away. In further support of its mission, Shedd modified its penguin habitat and collection to feature temperate weather penguins. Shedd's resident Rockhopper penguins, which spend considerable time in temperate climates, are now joined by eight Magellanic penguins.
Pacific Northwest Fishes
For the first time, the Oceanarium will be home to dozens of fish. From anemomes, octopus, jellies and isopods in the Polar Play Zone exhibit, to flounders, surfperch, sculpins and more in the South River estuary, Shedd's marine mammal pavilion is expanding its educational reach.