It is no surprise the impact that the Corona Virus has on our everyday life in Pittsburgh. It has not only affected the human elements of our lives, but has also impacted the economy and the environment. It also it effects the social wellbeing of the animals at our local zoo. The numerous detrimental impacts of the Corona Virus on human life continue to present themselves daily. However, an often overlooked and significant group negatively impacted by the Corona Virus are our animal counterparts, specifically, the residents of the Pittsburgh Zoo. The Virus has had an equally significant impact on their social wellbeing, much like it has on ours.
As expected in order to stay safe the zoos across the world are closed. The staff is still working with our beloved animals but not to the full extent in which these animals need. They are working as best as they can during these uncertain times. The argument over whether a zoo is right or just, has been an issue for many years. Some may be happy about the closure because it stopped the “entertainment perspective ” to view these animals as human consumers. Others are devastated to see the animals alone. That is another article on its own but , people of Pittsburgh have perceived that “the animals need our contact and connection as much as we need them”
Due to the closure and social distancing there isn’t enough regular zookeepers to care for the bigger and more carnivorous animals. For instance an elephant may need more than one person to help vaccinate it or give it a physical etc. There has only been room for one person because of the social distancing rule. This is resulting in care for the animals but not to its full capacity, they need more hands on deck so to speak. A zookeeper from Pittsburgh stated that he walked into the zoo as usual and walked to the flamingos. They were over ecstatic to see him and stated making noises. He thinks this is due to the fact that it has been quiet and they need that human connection. Whether that animal is thinking food is about to be delivered or not. That is another aspect needed to be discussed. Some species rely on a certain diet and food that may be scarce in these times. It is a circle of events that we have taken for granted. The virus affects us and then the animals and the environment. Which can only lead to devastating results. Its disrupting the circle of life.
A zoologist from Columbus zoo and Aquarium said ” This is something you think about and plan for, but never truly expect for this to happen”.
These times are very challenging into sustaining our regular routine. This is just one facet in the circle of existence that we don’t realize it effects. In some ways this is truly a great learning experience to further understand the safety of not only our species but our animal friends. They need us as much as we have always needed them to learn and grow for a better adaptable future.
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