In recent months, many businesses and organizations have halted operations, turned off the lights, and transitioned to working remotely due the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, zoos were no exception.
Widely visited zoos, like the Bronx Zoo and San Diego Zoo, were effective at dealing with the sudden change, and those both have since reopened to the public. These certified organizations couldn’t simply shut down due to the fact that their animals need constant care and attention no matter the circumstances.
The current problem of animal abandonment stems from less funded zoos currently trapped by Covid-19. With little-to-no money coming in, some zoos are struggling to feed their animals and are forced to make very hard budget decisions. Animals at a closed Spanish zoo were found on the brink of death after they inhumanely let their animals starve and become depressed. The zoo had been shut down for months and was unable to financially recover.
While others struggle to maintain care for their animals, many organizations have been unable to reach out to larger zoos to adopt these animals and are still unaware of whether they will be able to reopen or not.
“That’s disheartening to hear, seeing that the purpose of zoos is to let people see animals and develop a greater respect for them.” – Debra Quinn, Zoology teacher PHS
With overall animal abandonment rates on the rise due to the Covid-19 pandemic, zoological organizations and animal foundations are tasked to find alternative ways to improve and protect the health of animals. So far they have been mostly absent during this crisis, but appear to be beginning to step in as more and more zoos reopen around the US.