Monterey Bay Aquarium to reopen May 15 after monthslong COVID closure

California
A penguin at the Monterey Bay Aquarium named Rey looks at the kelp forest tank with senior aviculturist Kim Fukuda on Aug. 20, 2020. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

A penguin at the Monterey Bay Aquarium named Rey looks at the kelp forest tank with senior aviculturist Kim Fukuda on Aug. 20, 2020. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

After being closed for more than a year during the pandemic, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is set to reopen to the public May 15, and some animals appear happier about it than others. officials say.

At the beginning of the month, the aquarium began allowing members to visit. The trips functioned as a test run for the rollout of COVID-19 safety precautions, including a one-way path around the facility, mandated masking, capacity limits and distancing requirements of “a few otter lengths.”

The otters and penguins are said to have perked up in the presence of new faces.

They’ve “really, really engaged when they see people now in the building,” said Cynthia Vernon, the aquarium’s chief operating officer. “They’re coming up and wanting to interact with folks. And that’s a great thing.”

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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