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Southern Rockhopper Penguin

Hi, I’m Wellington, and I’m an easy-going penguin who loves to spend my time collecting ice cubes and preening in our exhibit waterfall. When I’m not interacting with my caretakers, I enjoy going on field trips with my fellow penguins for exercise and mental stimulation. One of these field trips happened to be captured on video during the pandemic when our aquarium was closed to the public. The video went viral and reached millions of people, bringing joy to so many during a hard time. I am so proud that I was able to promote awareness for penguins and help educate others about conservation efforts.

Thanks to the excitement generated by numerous field trips highlighted on social media, I have become somewhat of a celebrity with my own hashtag, #WheresWellington. I was even named Chicago Tribune’s “Chicagoan of the Year” – the first non-human to win the accolade! I love the attention and the opportunity to spread awareness for my species and hope to continue to make a positive impact in the world.


Age: 35

Sex: Male

Species: Southern Rockhopper Penguin