Shedd’s newest sea lion is now making appearances on exhibit in the Abbott Oceanarium.
Laguna, a rescued sea lion pup, has made great progress since his arrival at Shedd in late June, says marine mammals director Lisa Takaki. His debut last week in the Grainger Sea Lion Cove was one more step toward his total acclimation here. The 1½-year-old animal is already comfortable in all of the behind-the-scenes sea lion habitats, and he’s mastering what Lisa calls his “ABCs”—the training basics all the marine mammals learn. “He’s doing phenomenally,” she says.
Continue reading "From Rescued to Robust—Laguna’s Story " »
Experience Wild Reef in a deeper way: the new behind-the-scenes feeding tour. You’ll tread where few but the shark team go to witness mealtime for some of the most exciting—and misunderstood—species at Shedd: the sharks and rays.
You’ll even have a hand in feeding some of the fishes.
Continue reading "Get chummy with the sharks and rays on this tour" »
Think of a game that’s a cross between pinball and pool, using a hollow ball stuffed with shrimp and played by a high-energy sea otter, and you’ve got the latest product dreamed up by Northwestern engineering students for Shedd. Sea otters and trainers agree—this new puzzle is a big winner.
The puzzle is a 44 x 32 x 6-inch box of thick plexiglass that fits into the window opening between the sea otter pup pool and the trainers’ area. On a recent afternoon, Cayucos, an almost-2-year-old southern sea otter, is poised to play. Standing upright on her hind feet on the ledge around the pool, her paws on the puzzle’s front panel, she peers through the clear plexiglass for trainer Lana Vanagasem to start the game.
Continue reading "Enrichment is the Name of This Game" »
Welcome to Sea Otter Awareness Week, Sept. 22 through 28! To celebrate, we’ll share photos and videos, amaze you with fun facts and take you behind the scenes for glimpses into how we care for—and totally indulge—these littlest of marine mammals.
We got a jump on the week of all things sea otter a few days early when we gave the four otters—male Yaku and females Kiana, Mari and Cayucos—seven, count ’em, seven decorated Sea Otter Awareness Week “cakes” for them to eat, lick, hog, demolish and otherwise enjoy.
Continue reading "Sea Otters Take the Cake" »
The Fishes department sprang into action as soon as word came that field biologists from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) would soon be at Shedd’s doorstep with three large bighead carp they’d netted in the Humboldt Park lagoon. We had to prepare for the animals’ arrival!
Continue reading "Bighead Carp Get Shedd TLC, Too" »
Hands down, the Great Lakes offer some of the world’s best opportunities for water recreation, and there’s no shortage of fun to be had on these truly magnificent lakes.
Continue reading "Having fun while being safe in the Great Lakes" »
September’s Fish of the Month is striped bass—one of the fishes
on Shedd’s “best
choice list” for sustainability. This recipe for striped bass with roasted tomatoes and olive tapenade will wow your
guests and bring bright piquant flavors to your table!
Continue reading "September Fish of the Month: U.S. Wild-Caught Striped Bass" »
Beluga whale Kimalu celebrated her milestone first birthday on Aug. 27.
Although she’ll be a baby in her trainers’ and other Shedd friends’ eyes for years to come, she has come a long way from her 5-foot, 150-pound birth size. At her last exam in March, Kimalu was 6 feet 6 inches long and weighed about 325 pounds. (Because she is so healthy, the animal care and animal health teams haven’t needed to weigh her since then.) As you can see from the photos taken last week, the little whale is plenty plump. And you don’t need a scale or tape measure to see that she’s growing—her mottled appearance indicates that she’s about ready to slough her outgrown skin again.
Continue reading "Happy first birthday, Kimalu! " »
Our current heat wave has appropriately coincided with National Dog Day, Aug. 26. The sultry days of late summer have been called the Dog Days since Roman times. The warmer-than-your-furry-friend weather was associated with the prominence of Sirius, the Dog Star and the brightest feature in the constellation Canis Major, or Greater Dog.
We’re quite Sirius when we say that Shedd’s trio of talented canines—all adopted from Chicago-area shelters—are both great and stars.
Continue reading "Dog Days at Shedd: Meet Dory and Coral" »
Every sea otter pup that has found a home at Shedd Aquarium is special, but Kachemak had an impish charm that melted the hearts of trainers, other staff members, volunteers, donors and even jet pilots. Maybe it was because she was the first of Shedd’s sea otters raised from infancy on site.
On Saturday, at the extraordinary age of 23½, Kachemak was quietly put to sleep, releasing her from a rapid decline in the last week from age-related infirmities. She was the oldest sea otter known in any North American aquarium or zoo.
Continue reading "Farewell to Kachemak" »