How Zoos are approaching Coronavirus shut down

A starved Tiger captive in Xiongsen Bear and Tiger park Guilin city, China.

Photo Courtesy of Sinopix/Rex Features

A starved Tiger captive in Xiongsen Bear and Tiger park Guilin city, China.

The Coronavirus pandemic has shut down all “nonessential” businesses since April, and the ones still open are facing challenges surviving. However, certain fun attractions like zoos, that may not be technically essential to the average person’s life, are still up and running. Despite remaining open, no visitors are permitted entry into these attractions, causing problems for zookeepers as they continue to care for the animals.

According to Fox 10, in Phoenix, Arizona the zookeepers are still attending work and performing their daily duties to keep the animals healthy. With more than 3,000 animals needing food and veterinary check-ups, it is essential zoos remain in service. The Phoenix zoo itself is losing approximately 80,000 dollars a day without visitors. So the zoo must rely on donations to keep it in business and to ensure the animals are taken care of.

Across the world, China is taking a vastly different approach to the issues facing zoos. Express UK reported that animals there are being starved or eaten by other animals. In a zoo in Changsha, Hunan Province, zookeeper witnesses explained how animals like alpacas are starving to death due to the lack of food stored for them. Without revenue for zoos, some owners cannot keep up with the dietary needs of animals, leading various animals to start consuming other animals to survive. Zookeepers have tried to minimize these problems by spending their own money to feed the animals, but even that isn’t enough. These problems continue to mount in different zoos around China and there seems to be no quick solution in sight as the cities are on lockdown.

Zoos and other animal-focused businesses can be overlooked as they are often thought of as entertaining attractions, like a theme park, but the working of these places is essential. Without taking initiatives to support these organizations with donations, it is a looming fact that animals will die and suffer.