Marvel at Aquatic Life at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium
One of Chicago’s most visited attractions for tourists and residents alike is the Shedd Aquarium. Construction began on the aquarium in 1924, after a millionaire, John Graves Shedd, made a large donation. The aquarium opened to the public in 1929 without fish. The following year, saltwater fish were transported to the aquarium from Florida. The Caribbean Reef Exhibit was added in 1971 and the mammal habitat was added in 1991. The Amazon Rising Exhibit was welcomed in 2000 and the Wild Reef in 2003.
Currently, over 20,000 aquatic wildlife residents inhabit the aquarium. Some of the most popular residents are the beluga whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, sharks, sea otters, seals and stingrays. Aquarium visitors view the wildlife in simulated natural environments and watch divers feed the inhabitants five times each day. A crowd favorite is the underwater viewing gallery and the amphitheatre.
There is always something new to see at Shedd Aquarium. The Aquarium’s awesome staff are constantly adding new exhibits or updating old exhibits. The subject of the newest exhibit is amphibians. Visitors will learn fascinating facts about amphibians, including their adaptive techniques. The staff at the aquarium shared some exciting news last month, a Pacific white-sided dolphin resident, named Piquet, will give birth to a calf in June. Loyal visitors will want to see the expectant mother this month and return to view the calf next month.
Shedd’s Conservation and Sustainability Program encourages people to become environmentally informed citizens and to become involved in programs to conserve aquatic life. The aquarium offers internships and volunteer opportunities. Volunteers are required to complete an application, interview, and background check. Management reviews applications and matches prospects with position openings. In 2014, volunteers registered over 120,000 hours with the aquarium. Ticket information, directions and aquarium schedule are available on the aquarium website.
*Photo courtesy of Beluga Whale – Shedd Aquarium, Chicago by Katy Silbert at Flickr’s Creative Commons.
About NT3RNT RITR
A traveler at heart, the writer enjoys traveling all over the south and hopes to one day expand his destinations.