Extraordinary times call for exceptional measures. 4 Zookeepers at a wildlife sanctuary in Hayle, Cornwall, UK, have decided to go into self-isolation for 12 weeks to take care of the animals. Moving into a zoo might seem like an unconventional approach, but the Keepers believed it is what’s needed to make sure that all the animals receive the love and care they use to.
Paradise Park, a wildlife sanctuary started in 1973 by Mike, and Audrey Reynolds is home to the World Parrot Trust and Operation Chough. Today the wildlife sanctuary is still run by their son Nick and daughter Alison and many other dedicated keepers.
The Park houses over 130 species of birds that’s about 1,000 birds in total. It’s also a sanctuary to beautiful Red pandas, playful Asian otters, and the rare Red squirrels.
The Park closed its doors temporarily due to the virus outbreak. It was of great importance to ensure the animals continue to get the high quality they used to, so four staff members, Emily, Izzy, Layla, and Sarah-Jane, moved into the Park during the 12-week self-isolation period to take care of the animals. They will be supported by several of their colleagues working in shifts.
All there keepers are very dedicated. When the keepers heard about self-isolating to combat the virus, they decided to stay in Paradise Park to be there for the birds without risking the health of their families, as some had vulnerable family members at home.
The four zookeepers decided to temporarily move into the zoo’s onsite house as a precaution. Izzy explained that if worse comes to worst and the zookeeping staff is unable to go to work, we will be able to pick up the pace in taking care of the animals.
With more than a thousand animals living at the sanctuary, the daily upkeep like feeding, medicating, cleaning, and other vital activities is a mammoth task even without a pandemic.
Paradise Park will be keeping up with the Park’s daily routines, like twice-daily penguin feeding that you can watch on the Park’s webcam. The Park also has a Flamingo Webcam, aka “Where’s Derek” The Parks first Caribbean Flamingo chick who was hand-reared by Becky Waite and the Keeper team last year. The Parks Caribbean Flamingo is a little bit smaller and, although now turning pinkish, still has grey feathers for those who would like to see if you spot Derek.
Alison said that self-quarantine at the zoo has its perks. It is magical to observe the birds while walking around once all the cleaning and feeding is done. The best for Alison is waking up to a tropical dawn chorus.
However, Paradise Park has lost income. For the first time ever, the keepers of Paradise Park had to launch a GoFundMe campaign in hopes of covering food for the nearly 1,200 animals at Paradise Park as well as other vital expenses.
If you would like to support Paradise Park, more info here
Thanks to Paradise Park for images.