Open 9 am - 7 pm (Late Close)

Meet a Rescued Sea Lion in Virtual Encounter with Shedd Aquarium

First-Ever Sea Lion Encounter at Shedd Expand Ways to Connect with Aquatic Animal World from Home

August 12, 2020

Sea lion Biff looks up at a camera in the rocks, his thick, coarse whiskers on full display.

Shedd Aquarium has announced a new, limited time Virtual Sea Lion Encounter to come face-to-face with one of its four rescued California sea lions. During the aquarium’s first-ever sea lion encounter, guests from around the world can experience a virtual visit and observe an animal care session with these impressive marine mammals. Each 30-minute virtual encounter will be unique, and guests will meet one of the rescued sea lions that call Shedd home – Cruz, Laguna, Tanner or Biff – and can ask an animal care team member questions in a live chat.

While guests can sometimes spot California sea lions zooming around Grainger Sea Lion Cove in the Abbott Oceanarium, this program offers a deeper connection to these vocal mammals. Guests go behind-the-scenes to meet an animal care team member, and hear each sea lion’s unique rescue story, view their natural behaviors and learn more about their anatomy, diet and care. Plus, find out how Shedd’s Animal Response Team works with partners around the globe to rehabilitate animals in urgent need.

Shedd’s Extraordinary Experiences onsite are currently paused as the aquarium remains in the early phases of reopening, so this new virtual encounter is the latest way to get up close with the animals that call Shedd home following the launch of a Virtual Penguin Encounter. Shedd will share additional opportunities to connect with the aquatic animal world from home in the coming weeks. Participating in virtual programs like this help fuel Shedd’s mission and counteract the financial impacts of COVID-19. Additional ways to support the aquarium can be found here.

WHEN: This program is available for a limited time from Aug. 22 – Sept. 5. Sessions will happen seven days a week at 1 p.m. CST. There will also be two evening sessions on Aug. 27 and Sept. 2 at 6 p.m. CST.

HOW: Guests can learn more, view dates and check availability on Shedd’s website:

The experience is $59.95/$54.95 for members. The encounter is priced per screen, and Shedd recommends groups of up to four per purchase, so the encounter can be enjoyed together.

Interested in a private virtual experience? Schedule a virtual encounter for your next family or work gathering. Please contact [email protected].

VISUALS: High resolution visuals of the sea lions at Shedd are available for download:
Photo credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez
Video credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Sam Cejtin