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Help us respond to urgent animal needs.

When orphaned sea otter pup Cayucos was rescued from a chilly California beach last January, Shedd staff members stepped in to help her learn to eat, groom and play. Through this animal rescue, Shedd’s scientists were able to add to the body of knowledge on this endangered species. Find out what she's up to now.

But rehabilitating sea otter pups is no new task for Shedd. In 1989, aquarium staff members assisted in the rescue and rehabilitation of sea otters following the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. Later that year, Shedd welcomed four rescued sea otter pups, including Kenai, who lived to the remarkable age of 23. Shedd is able to provide animals like Kenai with the best veterinary care throughout their lives thanks to the generous support of people like you.

Green sea turtle Nickel came to Shedd in 2003. X-rays taken during her first exam revealed a round object in her throat. The coin that Shedd’s veterinarians retrieved from her esophagus was the inspiration for her name. Nickel, who bears scars on her shell of a collision with a motorboat, is one of the few rehabbed but unreleasable sea turtles on view in a U.S. aquarium. Our aquarists have worked with her to improve her impaired swimming skills.

Shedd conservation scientist Dr. Chuck Knapp knows that what we learn about the animals at Shedd can benefit wild animal populations. That's why he travels across the globe to conduct in-the-field research. Find out how he's working to protect iguanas and Nassau groupers.

Want to learn more about what Shedd's doing to help animals in need? Read about Biff, a recued sea lion, and our involvement in a recent coral rescue expedition.


Support Shedd's newest additions.

In March of this year, we announced that Pacific white-sided dolphin Piquet was expecting. On May 28, she gave birth to a healthy boy! You’ve watched him soar past milestones and swimming in the Abbott Oceanarium, and you may have even helped choose his nameSagu (SAH-goo), meaning “joy”.

In September, we celebrated the aquarium's sixth successful beluga birth. Today, you can see the female calf swim, nurse and play with mom Mauyak. Shedd has one of the most successful breeding programs in the North American beluga breeding cooperative. Each marine mammal birth provides Shedd, its colleague aquariums and zoos, and the scientific community with a better understanding of belugas, which is critical to conserve and protect the species in the wild.


Want more stories on Shedd's breeding success? Check out the chameleons, freshwater rays and spade fish.


Help us connect people to the living world.

At Shedd, we want to connect people of all ages and walks of life to the living world. Did you know that 65 percent of the aquarium’s guests visit free or at a discounted rate? Through community partnerships and special admissions programs, Illinois schoolchildren and educators, active military personnel and Chicago’s first responders are able to explore Shedd's galleries to learn more about aquatic animals and their environments.

Shedd’s reach can even span generations. In March, 71-year-old Scott McMurry received a Shedd Aquarium postcard his parents had sent him in 1957—it was lost in the mail for 55 years! When Shedd invited Mr. McMurry to visit the aquarium, he spent time in some of the “new” exhibits like Wild Reef and the Abbott Oceanarium. He also got to see Granddad, an Australian lungfish. Granddad is the oldest fish in any zoo or aquarium in the world and was at Shedd when Mr. McMurry’s parents visited so many years ago.

We inspire our guests—more than 2.1 million annually—to take a more active role in protecting and advocating for animals and the habitats we share with them. Our Great Lakes Outreach Team is active in the community, educating residents about issues that directly affect the environment and encouraging them to take part in improving the health of our local waters.

Shedd's outreach programs, field trips and programs like Wreath-Cycled aim to inspire the next generation to become stewards of animals and their environments. Teachers can find resources to educate their students about the global waters, but they also become students themselves through our professional development programs.

The gardens surrounding the aquarium building aren't just there to look pretty. Some of the organically grown vegetables supplement the animals' diets, but much of the produce is also donated to local food pantries.

Donate now to support these initiatives*
*Make an even bigger splash with our Matching Gift Challenge. Any new or increased contribution received between now and June 28, 2013, will be matched by a generous, anonymous foundation. Take advantage of this opportunity to double your impact on our animals, guests and programs..