With Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park being closed nearly 4 months now, you might be wondering the impact this has had on their animal inhabitants! With more than 600 species and 6000 animals, Wildlife World is the ideal facility to participate in a study led by Adam Stein PhD, a former Wildlife World employee, to measure the effects of being closed to the public and the impact it’s had on the animals.
“While, we as humans are learning to adjust to our “new normal”, the animals are doing the same. The observations have been fascinating, given our size and the diversity of our collection”, says Kristy Morcom the Director of Media Relations.
The absence of visitor foot traffic has impacted some species more than others. While the reptiles and fish don’t appear to be fazed, many other species like the macaws, have certainly noticed. Prior to the epidemic, the highly intelligent birds would spend most of their day greeting and interacting with the park’s guests. Without children to play peek-a-boo or families to react to their funny phrases, many of the birds appear to be increasingly inquisitive to what their animal neighbors are up to. Some have been curious enough to venture away from their home, to better see what others are doing in nearby exhibits!
The introduction of masks has been another environmental adjustment for some of the park’s wildlife. While most of the creatures don’t seem to mind, a lot of the primates are fascinated by the little contraptions covering the familiar faces of their caregivers.
With summer in full swing, the animals are being showered with all their fun summertime enrichment they have become accustomed to, year after year! The keepers enjoy providing their animals with sprinklers and pools to play in and giant frozen cubes full of their favorite indulgences and frosty treats for extra hydration! Irrigation is done nearly every day to provide their residents with a cool environment. The temperatures can be anywhere from 10-20 degrees cooler than what you will find outside of the property! As they say, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”.
The remarkable take away from all the observations of the animals that call Wildlife World home, is nature’s way of acclimating to an ever-changing environment and an animal’s ability to adapt and evolve. Wildlife World’s keepers and veterinarians have raised dozens of species of wild and endangered animals over the past quarter century. Wildlife World strives to maximize genetic diversity in the zoological population with their breeding programs.