While East Park’s Animal Education Centre is closed to the public, its residents are still very much in need of care.
The centre houses about 200 animals including alpaca, goats, wallabies, deer and primates, as well as countless birds, fish, and insects.
All require their own specialist care despite the pandemic going on in the world around them.
A small team of staff are continuing to work hard to ensure all species within the centre are fed and watered, happy and healthy.
The essential workers have adapted their usual duties to work within Government guidelines – and have even repurposed the usually busy classroom as a meeting space to allow for team discussions on priority animal care to take place while practising social distancing.
Zoo manager Emma Burdon said: “The welfare of our animals is of utmost importance and we’re committed to fulfilling our duties the best we can.
“We’ve worked hard to ensure we can continue our duties while keeping the team safe. Some changes came more easily than others, as zookeepers, our team are used to washing their hands every 10 minutes – so no change there.
“It’s very strange for us not to see our visitors each day – and we’re not the only ones who have noticed their absence. A few of our animals are missing the visitors too.
“Some of our more social animals really like human attention. Our keepers are doing a great job of giving them some species specific extra attention, such as added enrichment or puzzle feeders so they don’t get bored whilst our visitors have to stay away.
“We’re all really looking forward to seeing everyone as soon as we open again.”