NEWS
18/05/2020 5:29 PM AEST | Updated 18/05/2020 5:29 PM AEST

‘Stir-Crazy’ Penguins Get Taste Of Culture During 'Quarantine' Art Museum Visit

Penguins from the Kansas City Zoo took a field trip to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

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A group of penguins in Kansas City, Missouri, took a field trip to their local art museum to shake off some of their pandemic blues.

“Quarantine has caused everyone to go a little stir-crazy, even the residents of the Kansas City Zoo,” the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art said of their feathered visitors in a Facebook post last week. “So several of the penguins decided to go on a field trip to the Nelson-Atkins, which is still closed, to get a little culture.”

In a video capturing the visit, the Humboldt penguins are seen tottering about the halls of the museum, pausing at times to gaze up at the art around them.

The museum’s director, Julián Zugazagoitia, quipped in the video that he spoke Spanish to the penguins — which are native to Chile and Peru — who he said appeared to “appreciate art history.”

The birds “seemed definitely to react much better to Caravaggio than to Monet,” he added, referring to two painting greats.

The museum and zoo have both been closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The zoo’s executive director, Randy Wisthoff, said in the video that the penguins and other animals have really missed “visitors coming up to see them” during the shutdown. 

“We’re always looking for ways to enrich their lives and stimulate their days ... during this shutdown period,” Wisthoff said, adding that the penguins “absolutely loved” their museum jaunt.