The internet is full of stories of unlikely animal friends, there’s even a television series by that name. But the tale of dolphins bonding with a sloth in a Texas aquarium has to be right up there.
Zoos around the world have been forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But while funding will be a concern for many, it hasn’t been all bad for the animals during the coronavirus lockdown.
With no visitors around, some animals, aided by creative zoo keepers, have being enjoying a bit more freedom and fun than usual.
For example, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago took their penguins on an excursion to meet some of the animals. In Belgium, orangutans were introduced to an otter family.
Then there was the case of Sue the T-Rex dinosaur who went for a wander around the Field Museum.
Okay, that one wasn’t quite true, but it did make for a good video!
Chico the sloth
At the Texas State Aquarium, an even more unlikelier event unfolded when Chico the three-year-old sloth was taken on a field trip.
Chico was introduced to some ducks and then went on to meet seahorses, sharks, fish and jellyfish.
But it was when he was introduced to four male bottlenose dolphins called Kai, Liko, Shadow and Schooner that the magic really began.
Sitting on a tree branch, Chico was shown to the dolphins both above and below the water line. (By peering through the glass walls of the tank).
The dolphins clearly seemed thrilled by the visitor and appeared to be smiling as they approached the sloth over and over again.
It’s not only during situations like the current lockdown when the Aquarium staff decide to introduce different species to one another.
It apparently happens fairly frequently and it turns out the dolphins have enjoyed interactions with several other animals.
“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,” an Aquarium staff member explained.
Picture credits: TXStateAquarium