Bucket List Check | 40. Pet a Penguin

To celebrate the beginning of my second trimester, we marched over to the Aquarium to play with some penguins. We wandered around the maze of tanks before our VIP penguin experience. As you can see, the Aquarium itself was also a bucket list check so I didn’t snap many photos of the glorious sea life amidst the walls of water.

When it was finally time for our experience with the birds in tuxedos, I was ecstatic! You never really know what to expect when you approach an animal you normally don’t see often in your environment. You don’t think about the senses associated with a new animal or concept. For example, what it feels like is always my first go-to for new exposures!

When we first approached the large blue doors that would lead us to our birds, we were given the rundown of what we can and cannot do. The Aquarium is a highly accredited sanctuary for its animals. They love their marine life and it clearly shows. In fact, the extra money needed for the penguin exhibit goes straight back to them.

Upon hearing our rules from our biologist, we entered the cold room that smelled heavily of fish. To be fair, we received a warning before we entered the room but I was still afraid considering my strong pregnant nostrils. Thankfully it wasn’t all that bad. Instead, it was a lovely surprise of penguins lined up in their area waiting for us. Anyone who knows me knows that I love these flipping, marching birds! They hopped, waddled, ruffled their feathers, and stood there waiting to be picked up like small dogs! It was seriously the cutest sight seeing them wait their turn!

Out of the ten penguins they had in the room, only two of them came out to interact with us. We were introduced to all ten by name but we only officially met Cliff and Shelly. Cliff made his grand entrance by trying to climb into a girl’s long skirt. It was truly delightful to watch. She walked around letting us personally pet Cliff and to my surprise, they are really soft! They aren’t rubbery like one would assume. Then he sat down while half had a photo and snuggle op with Cliff while the other half watched Shelly swim around in her kiddie pool. She bobbed around and went from feeling soft to like a wet dog.

After we all switched, we watched the penguins waddle around the room and charge at us to receive petting. I sat down with Cliff again and pet him until he started to fall asleep. When he woke up from nuzzling into my side, he started pecking at a string on my shorts. They’re pretty handy with their beaks. A couple of them tried to take my cell phone through the gate and one of the free-roaming ones tried to take someone’s cell phone sitting on a bag. We heard stories about how they enjoy climbing into big purses and whatnot. Penguins truly are wondrous animals.

It was pretty cool learning about them in a scientific setting too. We learned so much from the biologist! This is definitely something I would 100% recommend.

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