Essential staff at Guyana Zoological Park keep animals safe amid COVID pandemic

–  animals get well deserved break from the public

Tuesday 19th May 2020

“Our Zoo Keepers and other staff here are the real superheroes; they come every single day, not for the money, but the love of the animals”.

These are the sentiments of Guyana Zoological Park Manager, Anthony Ramsahoi.

The Protected Areas Commission / National Parks Commission (PAC/NPC) has put specific measures in place to ensure that the animals and staff remain safe and healthy during this global pandemic.

Ramsahoi noted that some of the Zoo Keepers have been employed there for more than two decades and should be commended along with the other support staff – in accounting and procurement – as they all contribute to the protection of the animals ensuring that they are safe and well-fed daily.

The Zoo has been closed since 17th March 2020 as part of efforts to protect citizens, staff and animals from the COVID-19 (new Coronavirus).

The Zoo Manager further explained that the animals have always received proper care in terms of general animal husbandry practices and constant sanitizing.

Ramsahoi said this is nothing new for the Zoo and revealed that some Zoo Keepers were using safety respirators and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in keeping with the nature of their work, even before the outbreak.

He noted what is new, however, is the practice of social and physical distancing among the staff. Stronger bleach solutions are used to sanitise rails and cages, and Zoo Keepers are required to constantly sanitise themselves and ensure that their uniforms are not taken away but washed and stored at the zoo.

The PAC/NPC also takes this opportunity to inform the general public that the animals are properly fed as funds are provided through continued subventions from the Government. Members of the public have also been generous by donating fruits which are thoroughly cleaned before being fed to the animals.

It has also been observed that that the animals are now more visible even in cages as they have gotten a break from the large crowds and noise.

Even though this is a positive for these protected creatures, there is still hope that normalcy will return for patrons especially students to benefit from the zoo. As a reminder and precautionary measure, the PAC/NPC advises against the practice of keeping wild animals as pets – these must be left in the wild.