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Want To Hang Out With A Penguin?

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The penguin exhibit — with one-on-one encounters —has reopened at Aquarium of the Pacific with new COVID-19 rules. Madeline Walden/Courtesy Aquarium of the Pacific
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You might have some money set aside for summer vacation that’s gone unused thanks to the pandemic. If you're an animal lover, here's one option: pay for one-on-one time with a penguin at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.

After shutting down to put coronavirus safety’s measures in place, the Penguin Encounters exhibit reopened this week, with a limit of four people from the same household per group.

Brett Long is the aquarium’s Curator of Animals and Birds. He says most of the Magellanic penguins were hatched at the aquarium so they're used to interacting with people.

"They're naturally curious animals. They get to pick what they want to do. And so they can sit next to people or walk around. They sometimes try to preen people. Or they just explore different areas and we just get to sit and enjoy it, and see what they do."

It will cost you $150 dollars per person for 30 minutes of hang out time with a penguin. Aquarium staff are on hand to answer questions and a tour of the outside exhibits is included.
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The outside exhibits of the aquarium are open for timed ticket holders. Visitors will have their temperature checked before entry and anyone over the age of two must wear a mask.

And you can always experience the penguins like we're all experiencing much of life these days: virtually via the aquarium's live stream of their habitat.

Above water:

And below:

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