Animals News

Zoos Find Creative Ways to Cope with Coronavirus Lockdowns

The institutions are turning to various solutions, including livestreams and fundraisers, to connect with would-be visitors and continue caring for their animalsA baby hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) runs with a keeper at the Wild Refuge Foundation (FURESA) in Jayaque, El Salvador, on May 8, 2020. The hippopotamus became the first of its kind to be born in captivity in the nation in January. But its public debut was delayed because of social isolation measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Credit: Marvin Recinos Getty Images
Just as restaurants, clothing stores and offices around the world have had to close their doors to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, so have zoos, aquariums and animal sanctuaries. Some zoos have followed other industries by using online technology to keep life going. Many of them livestream animal activity to viewers, post behind-the-scenes photographs and videos, and conduct virtual fundraising.

Though the institutions have been closed to visitors, zookeepers must still go in to feed the animals and provide medical care and enrichment. In order to facilitate this activity, the zoos have taken on additional safety precautions to disinfect facilities and ensure the virus is not unintentionally spread among animals (as happened in the case of several tigers and lions that were infected at the Bronx Zoo). Some zoos are trying to keep animals on the same schedules they had before the lockdown. One aquarium in Japan asked people to participate in video calls with its garden eels in response
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