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Taipei Zoo's rare animals come out of hiding due to pandemic

Rash of local COVID-19 transmissions means zoo is closed and quieter now

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With visitors absent, even the Formosan clouded leopard has come out of hiding (CNA, Taipei Zoo photo) 

With visitors absent, even the Formosan clouded leopard has come out of hiding (CNA, Taipei Zoo photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After Taipei Zoo closed its doors to the public to prevent more domestic transmissions of COVID-19, its rarest animals found the courage to come out of hiding, reports said Friday (May 21).

Taipei City and New Taipei City raised their COVID alert to Level 3 on May 15, leading many popular destinations to shut their doors to the public, including the National Palace Museum, Longshan Temple, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, and Taipei Zoo.

The absence of visitors at the zoo emboldened some of the park’s most timid creatures to emerge and appear at sites close to where the public usually roams, CNA reported. A hippopotamus came out and sat down in a pond for a bath, its face pressing against a glass wall behind which visitors usually try to catch a view of the animal.

Predators also appeared, with a leopard resting on an incline in full view and the Formosan clouded leopard approaching a path and even threatening staff, according to the CNA report.

In order to prevent the animals from being infected, zookeepers wear masks inside the zoo and have to disinfect their hands and feet. Contact with the animals has been reduced to a minimum, while their regular health checks have been canceled, zoo officials said.

Staff have also been divided into teams with different shift hours. Taipei Zoo will remain closed at least until June 8, with a date for reopening dependent on the national COVID situation.


Updated : 2022-01-21 08:04 GMT+08:00

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