According to Ash Howell, spokeswoman for the Wellington Zoo in New Zealand, life goes on for the animals although more technology is being used to watch them in order to keep humans at safe distance from one another. But if you were to walk through the streets of the city early morning, you would still hear the piercing sound of two gibbons singing a duet.
Using Technology to Monitor Animals
During this confinement period, the staffs at the zoo are kept to a strict minimum. In order to ensure the health and safety of the animals, cameras were installed to study their behaviour, in case one of the residents would show signs indicating a potential health problem.
When one of the keepers or someone from the nutrition team has a doubt about one of the animal, the first consultation also takes place through a video call. Once the veterinarian has spoken with the person responsible for the animal, has seen it in action and, if need be, watched footage from recordings, then they can suggest treatment or come to the zoo if they need to run tests or manipulate the animal.
Are Animals Missing Visitors?
With the relative and unusual calmness of the city, the sounds of exotic animals travel farther then they usually do and people living in the area can hear an abundance of strange noises they normally wouldn’t hear. That is bound to catch the attention of humans, but the animals are also curious right now.
It would seem like some of them are missing the flow of people they normally encounter on a daily basis, while to others it is simply business as usual. The tigers seemed particularly affected by the absence of visitors. Now, when the keepers arrive to work with them in the morning, they are much more attentive than before. But they are not the only ones. Chimpanzees and otters seem to be wondering why nobody comes to watch them play.
Keeping Animals Active
Even with an absence of visitors, the staff is still busy caring for the animals. In fact, they take special care in keeping them busy while no one is around to watch them play. The zookeepers have been carrying out a range of “behavioural enrichment activities” to keep the animals stimulated and they are videotaping them when they are not on site, to make sure they keep playing when no one is around.
These videos have managed to capture meerkats scrabbling in a multi-coloured ball pit, dingoes interacting with otters through the glass separating them and the Sumatran tiger bunny-kicking a ball. Seems like everyone is doing fine!