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Happy Valentine's from Shedd Aquarium

Animal Care Teams Crafted Holiday Enrichment for Sea Otters and Penguins

February 13, 2020

A rockhopper penguin holding a large felt heart

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Shedd’s animal care team put some extra love and attention into creating festive enrichment for several of the animals at the aquarium. Adorned in red, pink and purple, ice blocks in the shape of hearts and flavorless gelatin lettering to state “Happy Valentine’s Day” were created for both the sea otters and penguins. Roses were spotted in the penguin habitat, as well as a Valentines-themed tin mailbox filled with their favorite fish.

While these treats took on a festive appearance, enrichment is a regular part of the care provided to all of the animals at Shedd. Training and enrichment programs allow the animals to learn, stay active and form trusting, lasting connections with caretakers. Shedd’s animal care staff will often use food, toys, puzzles, ice treats, verbal cues and more for positive reinforcement during these play and training sessions.

VISUALS: Magellanic and rockhopper penguins at Shedd, as well as the six sea otters, received Valentine’s Day-themed enrichment handcrafted by Shedd’s animal care team.

High resolution Valentine’s Day-themed videos from Shedd Aquarium can be found here:

Video credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Sam Cejtin