Four zookeepers self-isolate in animals park to make sure animals are cared

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Four zookeepers self-isolate in animals park to make sure the animals are cared for during coronavirus crisis.

Four zookeepers have decided to self-isolate on the grounds of a wildlife sanctuary to make sure the animals are properly cared for during the coronavirus crisis.

The staff members from Paradise Park in Cornwall have moved into a house on-site so they can continue feeding and cleaning the 1,200 birds and mammals housed there.

They will be supported by other keepers working on split rotas and covering different areas of the grounds. Paradise Park closed temporarily on March 21, but the staff has been posting regular updates on social media and also run live webcams so people can still enjoy seeing the penguins at feeding time.

Paradise Park, in Hayle, Cornwall, is home to 1,200 birds and mammals that still require care despite the coronavirus pandemic. Image Credit: SWNS
Paradise Park, in Hayle, Cornwall, is home to 1,200 birds and mammals that still require care despite the coronavirus pandemic. Image Credit: SWNS

One of the keepers, Izzy Wheatley, said – I had been thinking about how to handle the situation we all find ourselves in re isolating and social distancing as I have a big family including an elder member who has gone into 12 weeks isolation.

At the same time, the directors were having the same thoughts about using the house that is onsite and which became free as the Cornish Chough conservation meeting had just been canceled.

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Myself and two other keepers Rachel and Emily then moved into the onsite house on Saturday.’ She added – We have just under 1,200 individual birds and mammals to look after, feeding, cleaning, giving medications, supplying enrichment activities, and any vital maintenance.

Sarah-Jane, with penguin Mildred by her side, choosing between Rachel and Emily. Image Credit: SWNS
Sarah-Jane, with penguin Mildred by her side, choosing between Rachel and Emily. Image Credit: SWNS

We are keeping up the daily routines with our Humboldt’s Penguins. A few are hand-reared and very friendly and in the summer season from Easter onwards they take part in Photocalls.

Usually, at the two feeding times of 11 am and 3 pm, we select a handful of visitors to help feed the penguins, give a talk then visitors are invited to meet and stroke one of the friendly ones and take photos.

To ensure we are ready when we re-open, we are continuing to go through these routines. Plus we continue training with our eagles, vultures, hawks, macaws and other species who take part in our big free-flying displays throughout the summer.

Sarah-Jane going through the routine with Paloma. Image Credit: SWNS
Sarah-Jane going through the routine with Paloma. Image Credit: SWNS

The park temporarily closed just over a week ago, but staff regularly update its social media pages and run live webcams so would-be visitors don’t completely miss out on seeing the wildlife.

One covers the penguins, including the 11 am and 3 pm feeding sessions while the other is from the red-billed chough seclusion aviaries showing them nest-building for the coming breeding season.

Izzy said – We might get to a point where we don’t have any of our keepers in if we get it at the same time so we have to consider what happens then.

We’ve made guidelines so some of our maintenance workers can help feed. We would normally do penguin feeding times at our normal times, at 11 am and 3 pm, and we are trying to keep this going so people can still be involved in the park.

We will be having one of our keepers down there at those times to keep penguin feeding going as normal and we are looking into other things we could do with that so keep an eye on the Facebook page in case we decide we have some more things to do.

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