In the midst of the lockdown, many are lucky to enjoy the privilege of working from their respective homes. Sure, experiencing such is an ideal scenario. However, there are some who take the road less traveled and choose to stay at their workplace instead. Take, for instance, the zookeepers who self-isolate at Paradise Park in Cornwall, UK to continue taking care of animals.
The current crisis has caused several establishments to temporarily close their doors to the public. And zoos, botanical gardens, as well as other wildlife sanctuaries are no exception either. But while these attraction sites may have ceased operations, life still continues for their resident animals.
In consideration of the well-being of Paradise Park’s animals, four staff members have volunteered to self-isolate at the zoo
Zookeepers Emily, Izzy, Layla, and Sarah-Jane have recently moved into the park’s onsite house to look after the animals. Aside from love for animals and dedication to work, their reason for doing so is more of a precautionary one. For one, staying at the zoo would lessen the risk of them bringing the virus to their families at home. Also, in case other staff members couldn’t report back to work, at least the four of them could still keep things running.
Meanwhile, some of their colleagues will also continue to extend their support during the 12-week isolation period. According to Alison Hales, Director of Paradise Park, they are “keeping to the park’s routines.” As such, self-isolating zookeepers continue to observe regular feeding times for the animals, as well as cleanup and maintenance efforts.
Furthermore, the park’s social media pages remain active to share some photos and live feeds of the animals online. That way, patrons can still enjoy some wildlife adventures from the comforts of their home.
The Paradise Park houses around 1,200 birds of varying species
In addition, it’s home to several other mammals like red squirrels, red pandas, and various farm animals
Looking after over a thousand animals in the zoo is certainly not an easy feat, with or without the pandemic
Aside from operating with limited manpower, the park is also currently dealing with income losses
Hales noted that the park has only closed its doors on “Christmas Day and a few days due to snow.” Although such has been the case for the past 46 years, things are definitely different this time around. As such, she explained that securing funds is the next challenge to ensuring the welfare of their staff and animals.
Here’s how people reacted to the zookeepers’ selfless self-isolating act
The park is currently holding a donation drive in hopes of raising funds for animal feeds and other crucial expenses. Feel free to visit their GoFundMe campaign page for more details.