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Science News: Animals coping with lifestyle changes caused by COVID-19

– K.J., Editor

From cancelled vacations to teleworking at home, everyone’s life has been impacted by COVID-19 in some way or another, usually to the delight of our home-bound furry companions. Some pets have responded with excitement, while others have not allowed their human owners to disrupt their routines.

But, how are the animals housed in zoos and aquariums faring in this difficult time? Unfortunately, it appears they are not doing well. Zoo animals appear lonely, with some even searching for humans to interact with or keeping to their scheduled times for human interactions.

This problem has zoo keepers and staff, who the animals have grown accustomed to, searching for new ways to keep the animals entertained. Even garden eels at an aquarium in Japan are not forgotten, as they now get to video chat with online visitors to lift their spirits. This is an ingenious idea, as social distancing is maintained while entertaining the surprisingly social fish.

Zoos and animal sanctuaries around the world rely on humans for upkeep costs and care for the animals. Even when there are no visitors, food has to be bought and the staff have to be paid. Hopefully, the lives of both humans and the animals that share this Earth can return to normal, or at least a new version of normal to which we can all adapt.

Click here for the Japanese version.

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