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Dumpty the Penguin at Audubon Aquarium leads a safety tour on new protocols

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    NEW ORLEANS, LA (WGNO) — After being closed since Mid-March because of the pandemic, now the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is getting ready to reopen tomorrow with new safety protocols in place. Today, Dumpty the Penguin lead us on a little tour of what’s new.

Dumpty the 6-year old African Penguin at the Audubon Aquarium is leading the way to a new day.

“We are happy to do these modifications because it will make everyone safe,” Kyle Burks, Chief Operating Officer at Audubon Nature Institute said.

Dumpty’s showing us the way in a safe way.

“As you noticed Dumpty was paying very close attention to everyone around him. He was keeping his distance and and anytime anyone got close to him, he was going to make sure that he distanced himself,” Burks said.

Social distancing a shark’s length away is the way to go when the Aquarium reopens tomorrow.

“We need everyone to be aware of their surroundings and keep a distance from others as they have a great experience,” Burks said.

The experience will feel a little different. Guests must wear masks the entire time they are inside, and tickets need to be booked online.

“We are limiting guests coming in to 100 people every half hour,” Burks said.

Following in Dumpty’s penguin prints to the other exhibits you will notice “no touching” glass signs, and hand sanitizer stations everywhere. Another change is the stingray touch pool will be closed to guests because of the pandemic, but you can still see the stingrays in the tunnel.

All of these changes are important and necessary to keep the Aquarium up and running.

“The time period that we were closed is one of the busiest seasons here, so we would have to expect to have lost 22 million dollars in revenue over the last few months. All of our ability to take care of the animals and everything we do with conservation comes from ticket sales,” he said.

And as you can see it’s the simple things like watching Dumpty that get us back on track.

“We just want everyone to relax and enjoy the animal experience. We all need some of that right now,” Burks said.

The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas opens tomorrow at 10 a.m. To book your tickets, click HERE.

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