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Zoo Says Animals Are Still Turning Up For Their 'Meet The Public' Appointments

Zoo Says Animals Are Still Turning Up For Their 'Meet The Public' Appointments

Zoos around the world have been forced to close because of the coronavirus pandemic.

You'd think the animals might enjoy a bit of peace and quiet for a little bit, however staff at one zoo say they're getting lonely.

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Zookeepers at Orana Wildlife Park, just outside of Christchurch, New Zealand have observed some animals still turning up to their 'meet the public' appointments.

Sadly though, no one is there to see them.

Giraffes haven't missed their two appointments every day. Credit: Orana Wildlife Park/Facebook
Giraffes haven't missed their two appointments every day. Credit: Orana Wildlife Park/Facebook

The Wildlife Park's Nathan Hawke has told The Guardian: "People provide a great real-life stimulation for the animals, some of our very social animals, such as kea, are thinking something odd is up."

Mr Hawke explains that many rhinos have been arriving at the spot they're meant to every day at 3:15pm, because that's where they've had daily belly rubs.

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Giraffes have also been very punctual for their two appointments in the day.

Credit: Orana Wildlife Park/Facebook
Credit: Orana Wildlife Park/Facebook

As a result, zoo staff have been working hard to keep the animals engaged.

Nathan continues: "The kea and gorillas particularly seem to be missing people, they really enjoy seeing the public. So [lockdown] is forcing us to think outside the square and go above and beyond for our precious animals.

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"It's about maintaining a new normal and filling the gap that the visitors would otherwise fill."

One animal facility in the US has resorted to introducing animals to each other to spark some interest and intrigue.

The Texas State Aquarium has loads of different species on display and you can imagine that a land animal has probably never seen a water based one that would otherwise be worlds apart in the wild.

That's why these dolphins went absolutely berserk when staff chucked a sloth outside their enclosure.

Even animals can get some education at the zoo.

Sure, this may seem like the most unlikely paring, even for a Disney film, but clearly the dolphins enjoyed the new view from their pool.

The dolphins were so excited at the sloth paying a visit (Credit: Texas State Aquarium)
The dolphins were so excited at the sloth paying a visit (Credit: Texas State Aquarium)
The dolphins could be seen flipping upside down in excitement (Credit: Texas State Aquarium)
The dolphins could be seen flipping upside down in excitement (Credit: Texas State Aquarium)

An aquarium spokesperson told Bored Panda: "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.

"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.

"We have another sloth, Xena, but on that day, she was more interested in sleeping than meeting the dolphins!"

Classic sloth energy.

Featured Image Credit: Orana Wildlife Park/Facebook

Topics: News, Animals

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.