How COVID-19 Is Affecting The Animal Kingdom

COVID-19 has been on everyone’s minds for quite a few weeks now. There are so many things going on in the animal kingdom right now as a result of coronavirus. It appears as though COVID-19 can infect many different animals, but there are some indirect effects of the virus as well.

Humans have essentially removed themselves from the overall biological picture in a lot of ways. Animals are now reacting to us being gone.

A lot of people have probably seen some of the posts about animals returning to habitats, such as dolphins returning to Venice, though many of these reports have turned out to be false. You want to believe in stories like that, but it’s always better when there is some data to back up the story.

Life Is Easier Without Humans Around:

A zoo in Hong Kong is reporting that two pandas have used this “alone time” in an interesting way.

Biology in Isolation: Episode 1

This is a little show about how the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting the animal kingdom in unpredictable ways. Our first case in point: Pandas at the Hong Kong zoo are making time for a little visit to romance during their quarantine…

Posted by Dr. Carin Bondar – Biologist With a Twist on Thursday, April 16, 2020

Olive Ridley sea turtles visit “arrival beaches” in India numbering in the hundreds of thousands to lay their eggs. Most of the time, humans are there too. What we’re seeing now, because of the coronavirus lockdown, is these turtles are having a much easier time of laying their eggs.

Unfortunately, it’s not all good news.

Zoos and Aquariums Are Running Out Of Money

An interesting and potentially very scary problem is facing the animals in zoos and aquariums. They rely on the revenue from things like admission and parking to cover their expenses and feed the animals. These facilities have no income right now with everything on lockdown.

As morbid as it is, some zoo facilities are planning which animals could be slaughtered and distributed to other animals. Though not many zoos are at that point yet, many of them are being proactive by asking for donations now, such as the Toronto Zoo. The Vancouver Aquarium may even have to close permanently in the next few months.

Check out this clip of my segment on Breakfast Television Vancouver where we talk about animals and coronavirus:

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