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Siberian zoos during the lockdown

Instead of children's laughter, there is silence and the monotonous growl of a porcupine. 30 animals that are kept in this petting zoo are isolated from each other by the walls of the enclosure, and from people – by the decree of the regional government. The farm has been closed to visitors since March 28.

It would seem that the animals should finally rest from the annoying human attention. But those who were born in nurseries, and grew up next to a person, go wild alone, and experience stress when new visitors come.

A glass of crickets, half an hour of persuasion, and a meerkat named Toma makes timid steps toward the cameras. Now all animals need to get used to the attention from the outside again.

At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, veterinary clinics in China, and then in Europe, the United States and Russia were filled with worried owners of dogs and cats. Someone came for a consultation, and someone immediately wrote down the animal for euthanasia, in fear that during a walk the pet could become infected with Covid-19 and bring a harmful virus to the family. Veterinarians even arranged flash mobs to convey information to people: Animals do not get sick.

Anastasia Nesterova, senior zoo administrator: “No, they don't get sick. Scientists have proven that animals do not suffer from this type of Covid...from others, they do”.

And if some children have lost only a fun weekend adventure. The others, so-called special kids, have lost much more: contact zoo is a long-term platform for pet therapy. Meanwhile, the owners of the zoo are losing income. And "babies of the zoo" have a brutal appetite even when there are no visitors.

Kseniya Fedorova, the owner of the zoo: “Next week I want to go to the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor), and ask them to allow us to conduct family tours, space makes it possible to keep a distance here. At the entrance, one should use hands sanitizer. Let`s see the result”.

By the way, there are sanitizers at the entrance here from the very foundation of the zoo, and every visitor must use them, otherwise they will not be allowed. Such a measure is necessary so that animals do not get infected with viruses and bacteria from people when they pet and feed them.