NEW YORK—As zoos open their doors in the morning, they are expecting hundreds of people to stream through the gates. However, when there is a new animal the amount of people multiplies. Yet, as the visitors pour in, few know what happened in the background that made the arrival of the new animal possible.
Animals are not only educating and entertaining people, but are also living their own lives. Dolly Parton once said, “if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” The same is true for animals who need to go through sickness and quarantine in order to have an amazing life. In 2020, more people than ever are quarantining. This activity, or lack of, is a new experience for everyone. It separates them even more from wild animals. However, it also makes them more like zoo animals than ever before.
When an animal first comes to a zoo, they have to quarantine. During this period, there are examinations (both physical and mental) and vaccinations. In the 2020 quarantine, people are supposed to quarantine for two weeks after traveling. Whenever animals have contagious viruses, they might have to quarantine, keeping them away from the rest of their kind.
If animals are much more familiar with quarantining, they might have the best tips for quarantining. In a general sense, the quarantine protocols aren’t too different until the specifics are examined.
Something that zoos focus on is the mental status of the quarantined being. If an animal is very stressed, the zoo will analyze the risks of making the quarantine period shorter. Many people don’t have the money to treat mental health, while animals have all the doctors that they need at zoos. Furthermore, animals in zoos have quarantines tailored to the virus. According to the CDC, people have to follow one general protocol that may not be beneficial for everyone.
When animals get sick, they are moved into a separate holding where everything is the same other than the lack of other animals, says AAZV. When a person gets sick and is contagious, they typically stay home from whatever activities they had planned. If someone is taking care of the sick person, they will take extra precautions to make sure there is no cross-contamination. Furthermore, other people sharing the home, but not the quarantine, will have problems when attempting to avoid the sick person. Animals are all alone during quarantine except for keepers and vets whose purpose is to take care of the animal and are safer than humans quarantining at home.
By the end of the 2020 pandemic, people’s ideas of how to quarantine will have changed and will be more efficient and safe. The question is where does the inspiration for the new ideas come from? A possibility is from zoos.