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COVID-19 lockdown brings about behavioural change in zoo animals

Shankar, the African breed male jumbo at the Delhi Zoo, is one such animal who seems to miss his human admirers, according to the authorities.

Published: 13th August 2020 10:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th August 2020 10:37 AM   |  A+A-

The elephants were fed banana leaves, chapatti, jaggery and watermelon.

The elephants were fed banana leaves, chapatti, jaggery and watermelon.

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: If the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the life of human beings and forced them to change their routine, then same is the case with animals and birds. 

With the lockdown continuing at the Delhi Zoo for months now, forcing visitors to stay at home, the animals seem to be missing the presence of visitors and the zoo authorities are noticing a behavioural change.

Shankar, the African breed male jumbo at the Delhi Zoo, is one such animal who seems to miss his human admirers, according to the authorities. 

“Elephants are social animals, they are very attached to humans. As the lockdown has forced everyone to stay at home, there is near total silence which the elephants are not used to,” said Delhi Zoo director Ramesh Pandey.

“Since the few days we have been noticing that Shankar is showing signs of missing the visitors. He seems to be used to human proximity near his enclosure. We are trying to make him feel special by spending more time interacting with him.” To keep the elephants more engaged in their enclosures, Pandey has decided to give them more freedom and put them in chains for the least amount of time.

“When people come and stand near the outer railing of the enclosure, Shankar used to enjoy that.” Similarly, there are a few birds such as parrots of the cockatoo species that are missing the presence of humans. 

As Wednesday was World Elephant Day, the pachyderms were given a feast. The elephants were fed banana leaves, chapatti, jaggery and watermelon. 

An awareness programme on the conservation of elephants was also organised with zoo keepers and mahouts. The Delhi Zoo has an Asian elephant couple, Hira and Lakshmi.



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