Life Owl by myself: Zoo animals missing their human visitors

Owl by myself: Zoo animals missing their human visitors

Some koalas are getting cranky without their daily cuddles. Photo: Getty
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Most of us are beginning to feel the aching effects of social distancing and isolation, but it seems we are not alone.

Zoo animals all over the world are reportedly missing time spent with their human visitors.

Did your heart shatter reading that sentence?

Zookeepers have taken to the popular forum, Reddit, to explain that their animals are accustomed to routines and schedules that include hanging out with human guests.

According to one user, some animals that are used to close human interaction with visitors “really fret if they don’t get their cuddle”.

“We do public encounters with our koalas, wombats and snakes among others, so we spend an hour or so a day cuddling and handling these animals to keep them happy.”

Zoos remain an essential service, despite being closed to the public. Photo: Getty

For animals that are used to seeing people every day of the year, the drastic changes to their schedules have not gone unnoticed.

Another Reddit user shared the tale of Row, a cockatoo who sings ‘Row, row, row your boat’ and is now sorely missing her audience.

“Without guests to show off for, every now and then when it’s quiet we’ll hear her start “Row, row, row…” and then she stop and huffs a bit and gets really quiet and sad because she has no one to sing to,” the user shared.

“Some of our animals really miss having kids to show off for.”

Zookeepers are spending extra time with animals to keep them entertained. Photo: Getty 

According to Nathan Hawke from New Zealand’s Orana Wildlife Park, animals are still continuing to turn up for their regularly scheduled appearances, despite having no visitors.

“The kea and gorillas particularly seem to be missing people, they really enjoy seeing the public,” Mr Hawke told The Guardian.

“It’s about maintaining a new normal and filling the gap that the visitors would otherwise fill.”

Giraffes and rhinos are still arriving every afternoon, waiting expectantly to greet guests and get their daily belly rubs.

In an effort to keep animals happy and entertained, zookeepers are now turning up in place of the general public and spending extra time with their furry, feathered and scaly friends.