BEIJING: Beijing Zoo reopened after being closed since Jan 24 as part of efforts to control the Covid-19 outbreak.
The 5,000 animals have been fed well, are housed in sanitised areas and are enjoying the spring sunshine.
Zhang Chenglin, the zoo’s deputy director, said, “Some of the animals, such as the pandas, preferred to have more exercise when the zoo was empty.”
Veterinarians checked the animals’ health. A pregnant Malayan tapir received the most attention, with regular ultrasound examinations.
Ma Tao, who looks after pandas at the zoo, starts his working day at 7am by taking a fixed route on a delivery truck to feed the animals in their enclosure.
Workers such as Ma help prepare 2,000kg of food for animals at the zoo every day, including chopped carrots, fresh cucumbers and raw meat.
“My happiest time of the day is to see the animals eating, even if sometimes they take a bite out of my arm, ” Ma, who is in his 40s, said jokingly.
He added that it usually takes about three hours to distribute food to all the animals.
Occasionally, they need “afternoon tea”, with grapes being the red pandas’ favourite. Ma often feeds these animals by hand.
With snow falling in Beijing in the middle of last month, keepers spent more time checking on the animals.
Some of the inhabitants preferred to keep warm in their enclosures, while others enjoyed being outdoors. — China Daily/ANN
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