A group of zookeepers at a wildlife sanctuary have moved into the grounds to live in self-isolation for 12 weeks so they can look after the animals.
While it’s safe to say that at this point most parks and zoos have closed their doors to the public, due to the coronavirus outbreak, you can’t help but admire the dedication of the zoo staff members at a zoo in Cornwall, England.
Officials at Paradise Park have set themselves up in a house within the sanctuary premises so they can continue to nurture and protect animals housed in the wildlife sanctuary.
Paradise Park closed temporarily on March 21, but the staff has been posting regular updates on social media. They also run live webcams so people can still enjoy seeing the penguins at feeding time.
The family-run business which opened its doors in 1973 has a house on site which will now be used to home Sarah-Jane, Izzy, Rachel and Emily, all officials at the wildlife park.
The zoo announced the new arrival of its semi-permanent residents on Facebook, writing:
“As we reach the point when the Park temporarily closes, everything is in place to ensure the birds and animals will be fed and cared for and have enriching opportunities every day.”
“Three of our Keepers Izzy, Emily and Sarah-Jane have volunteered to move in at the Park for which we are very grateful. They are leaving their families, some of whom are following 12 week self-isolation periods. They will be supported by other Keepers on a daily basis, observing all the relevant guidelines.”
Though these volunteers had to leave their families behind for three months, they’ve been keeping busy with their new companions by carrying out the regular routines the animals are used to.
There are around 1,200 birds and mammals to look after, including penguins, parrots and flamingos.
Except for Christmas Day and a few snow days, this is the first time the zoo has closed to the public.
The zoo’s director Alison Hales spoke about the situation in a Facebook post, saying:
“The unknown is very worrying. Spring is usually a hopeful time where we get an influx of visitors, and we can breathe a sigh of relief.”
“It is now as if the rug has been pulled. I’m sure we will be ok. We are relying on the birds to show us the way. We will come out the other end.”
Paradise Park has also set up a GoFundMe page to help cover food for the animals and any vet bills during these difficult times.