April 21, 2021

These Four Dolphins Got to Meet a Sloth Named Chico and They Were Super Excited About It

This pandemic situation is causing a heavy phase of self-isolation and quarantine, the novel Coronavirus continues to put a damper on everyone’s moods. And it happens that many animals, both wild and those in zoos and aquariums, are finding this strange time in their lives to be rather enjoyable than depressing. Most of them don’t seem to be complaining in the least as they get a chance to enjoy a little more freedom with fewer crowds.

Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, took their penguins on an adorable field trip, letting them meet the other animals living there. Also, Pairi Daiza Zoo in Belgium befriending an otter family. It sounds like an unlikely friendship, but wait until you read about these dolphins completely losing it at the sight of a sloth.

At the Texas State Aquarium, the 3-year-old local celebrity Chico the sloth didn’t just meet dolphins on his tour around the Gulf of Mexico exhibit but their meeting was definitely the highlight of the whole adventure. He had an opportunity to say hello to some ducks before moving on to meet the seahorses. He was then carried on his favorite branch to meet up with a shark and some more friendly colorful fish. Chico seemed quite interested in jellyfish but nothing could compare to the last meeting with dolphins that was waiting for him.

TXStateAquarium

The Aquarium staff takes their animals on such “play dates”, they said: “We frequently give the animals a chance to “meet” each other as a form of enrichment, which helps keep them active in body and mind. As some of our most popular animals, it seemed an obvious choice for our sloths and dolphins to get a chance to see each other while we were temporarily closed. We have another sloth, Xena, but on that day, she was more interested in sleeping than meeting the dolphins! Our dolphins have had the opportunity to meet several other animals over the years, including baby gators, an African serval, a red-tailed boa and others. They’re almost always very curious about the other Aquarium residents.

4 male dolphins: Shadow, Kai, Liko, and Schooner got to meet Chico last week.

TXStateAquarium

TXStateAquarium

TXStateAquarium

The staff also said: “Besides making for some fin-tastic photo ops, these animal interspecies meetups are just one of the many ways we are “closed but still caring” during the COVID-19 situation. Along with enrichment opportunities for our animals, our staff is still busy at work preparing meals for and feeding the animals, maintaining their habitats, and looking after their medical care, to name just a few tasks. We’re striving to share as many of these stories as we can with our guests and viewers around the world to keep them engaged, educated and entertained while they’re at home. Right now we’ve had the most success through social media posts like this one, along with virtual views of our animals and daily live distance learning programs.

TXStateAquarium

TXStateAquarium

TXStateAquarium

TXStateAquarium

Here’s the video of Chico’s trip:

People loved seeing the meeting and joked around in the comments:

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