Dolphins got to meet a sloth named Chico and they were super excited about it. Who can blame them?

Like nearly every other place on the planet, the Texas State Aquarium has been closed to visitors due to the COVID-19 virus. Located in Corpus Christi, the aquarium features a wide variety of animal life including flamingos, sloths, sharks, Atlantic bottle-nosed dolphins, jellyfish, and falcons.

While the closure is unfortunate for the people who love to visit the aquarium, it's been a lot of fun for some of the animals, namely Chico the sloth.

Chico got to take a break from being in his enclosure recently when the aquarium staff took him for a tour of the aquarium. It's a little tough for the sloth to move about with its huge claws, so staff let him travel by branch.



"We frequently give the animals a chance to "meet" each other as a form of enrichment, which helps keep them active in body and mind," an aquarium staffer said according to Bored Panda.

On his trip, Chico got to see seahorses, jellyfish, and a massive replica of a great white shark. But the highlight of his adventure had to be meeting four lovely dolphins, Shadow, Kai, Liko, and Schooner.

The meeting between the dolphins and the sloth is interesting because there's probably no way this would have happened in nature.

Texas State Aquarium / Facebook


Texas State Aquarium / Facebook


Texas State Aquarium / Facebook


Texas State Aquarium / Facebook


Texas State Aquarium / Facebook

"As some of our most popular animals, it seemed an obvious choice for our sloths and dolphins to get a chance to see each other while we were temporarily closed," a staffer said. "We have another sloth, Xena, but on that day, she was more interested in sleeping than meeting the dolphins!"

While it's tough to tell whether Chico was excited to see the dolphins, the porpoises were sure excited to meet him. One even turned itself upside down to be like the sloth.

Texas State Aquarium / Facebook

This isn't the first time the dolphins have had a chance to meet the other species at the aquarium.

"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," explained the Aquarium staff.

The last place that a dolphin belongs on this planet is a tank. But the enrichment program shows that the caretakers are making the most out of a questionable situation by keeping the animals entertained and engaged — especially at a time when there aren't many visitors to keep them busy.

"Besides making for some fin-tastic photo ops, these animal inter-species meetups are just one of the many ways we are closed but still caring during the COVID-19 situation." Aquarium staff said.

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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One little girl took pictures of her school lunches. The Internet responded — and so did the school.

If you listened to traditional news media (and sometimes social media), you'd begin to think the Internet and technology are bad for kids. Or kids are bad for technology. Here's a fascinating alternative idea.

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Norton

This article originally appeared on 03.31.15

Kids can innovate, create, and imagine in ways that are fresh and inspiring — when we "allow" them to do so, anyway. Despite the tendency for parents to freak out because their kids are spending more and more time with technology in schools, and the tendency for schools themselves to set extremely restrictive limits on the usage of such technology, there's a solid argument for letting them be free to imagine and then make it happen.

It's not a stretch to say the kids in this video are on the cutting edge. Some of the results he talks about in the video at the bottom are quite impressive.

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