- Title: Latin American zoos find joy in newborns amid coronavirus struggles
- Date: 10th April 2020
- Summary: SAN ANTONIO DEL TEQUENDAMA, COLOMBIA (APRIL 8, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) COORDINATOR OF ANIMAL HEALTH AT SANTACRUZ ZOO, CAMILO MENDOZA, SAYING: "We also had bred a white-tailed deer and a campaign has been launched on social networks, so there have already been names like Covid, like Quarantine, so we also hope that something similar will happen with these animals." SPECTACLED BEAR EATING BEAR LOOKING AT CAMERA WITH FRUIT ON HIS FACE BEAR REACHING FOR ANOTHER DISH LION IN CAGE LEOPARD YAWNING (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) COORDINATOR OF ANIMAL HEALTH AT SANTACRUZ ZOO, CAMILO MENDOZA, SAYING: "Overall, it is a message of hope that at some point in time everything will improve, everything will return to how it was before, it is a message of hope for us to change our chip, our thinking, to give it the importance that nature and animals really deserve to be respected." HIPPOPOTAMUS COORDINATOR OF ANIMAL HEALTH AT SANTACRUZ ZOO, CAMILO MENDOZA, OPENING HIPPO'S MOUTH HIPPO EATING A HEAD OF LETTUCE VARIOUS OF WHITE TIGER MENDOZA WALKING TO TIGER ENCLOSURE LIMA, PERU (RECENT) (REUTERS) VARIOUS, EXTERIORS OF THE PARK OF LEGENDS, A PERUVIAN ZOO THAT CONTAINS MORE THAN 200 DIFFERENT SPECIES VICUNAS PLAYING VARIOUS OF BABY VICUNA WITH ITS MOTHER (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE ZOO, GIOVANNA YEPEZ, SAYING: "The Park of Legends currently has more than 200 different species with special requirements. For many of them - we are committed to the maintenance of animals - we have trained personnel and personnel that in the current situation have been developing and doing activities for the welfare of our animals." VARIOUS OF HIPPOPOTAMUS AND GIRAFFES BEING CARED FOR BY ZOO STAFF (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE ZOO, GIOVANNA YEPEZ, SAYING: "With the current situation that we are going through as a country, the park also fills us with satisfaction - the result of a lot of work - which are the births." ZOO STAFF TAKING CARE OF MONKEY VARIOUS OF BABY PYGMY MARMOSET (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE ZOO, GIOVANNA YEPEZ, SAYING: "We have had the birth of a pygmy marmoset. The pygmy marmoset is a primate, it is the smallest primate in the world, it weighs from 100 to 110 grams." VARIOUS OF PYGMY MARMOSET ON BRANCH
- Keywords: COVID-19 animals coronavirus pandemic cotton-topped tamarind quarantine zoos
- Reuters ID: LVA003C8WSHMV
- Location: SAN ANTONIO DEL TEQUENDAMA, COLOMBIA AND LIMA, PERU
- City: SAN ANTONIO DEL TEQUENDAMA, COLOMBIA AND LIMA, PERU
- Country: Colombia
- Duration: 00:03:11
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: A small zoo in central Colombia has called on its social media followers to come up with names for newborn primates delivered in the current birthing season - and most suggestions are related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Covid and Cuarentena - the latter means quarantine in Spanish - are among the most popular suggestions for the cotton-top tamarind twins, tiny primates native to Colombia's Caribbean coast. The pair were born a week ago in Santacruz zoo, which is in San Antonio Del Tequendama.
The potential names are also being considered for a white-tailed deer born just over a fortnight ago.
"We asked our followers on social media to suggest names for them," Camilo Mendoza, the zoo's animal health coordinator, told Reuters.
Mendoza explained that most births take place during the first three months of the year, when the weather is warmer, and before the start of the rainy season.
The zoo also takes in animals from circuses or that are seized by authorities fighting the selling or illegal trafficking of wildlife.
Incoming arrivals will come from two female chiguiros, the largest rodents in the world, as well as another deer, and a peacock, as well as several spider monkeys.
The keepers view the births as positive news in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak.
"It's a message of hope for us to change how we are wired, our thinking, and that we recognize the importance of nature and animals, that we respect them," Mendoza said.
At the same time, the zoo is campaigning for donations so it can buy 300 kg (660 pounds) of meat, 180 kg of chicken, 60 kg of shrimp and the same amount of fish to feed its 780 animals each week.
The zoo is running out of resources because its main source of income, charging visitors the equivalent of about $5 per person, dried up with the start of a government-ordered quarantine, which will run until April 27.
Meanwhile, the Park of Legends Zoo in Lima is experiencing a baby boom as well with a newborn vicuna, two pygmy marmosets and a water buffalo. Despite financial challenges the zoo is facing due to the sudden dropoff in visitors following the quarantine, all the newborns are healthy and being well cared for.
Zoo staff are adjusting to new sanitary guidelines, requiring them to use gloves, masks, soap and sanitizer before and after handling the animals. They must also disinfect their shoes before entering animal enclosures.
Despite the difficulties of maintaining a zoo in the age of coronavirus, Deputy Director Giovanna Yepez assured that all animals are being fed the regular portions and quality prior to COVID-19.
"The Park of Legends currently has more than 200 different species with special requirements. For many of them - we are committed to the maintenance of animals - we have trained personnel and personnel that in the current situation have been developing and doing activities for the welfare of our animals," she said.
(Production: Andres Rojas, Camilo Cohecha, Herbert Villarraga, Carlos Valdez)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Embargoed:24th April 2020 14:45
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