Sunday, May 24th, 2020

Zoo animals get a respite from crowds amid lockdown

Published 8:17 pm | May 24, 2020

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Online desk ; The coronavirus lockdown seems to have given zoo animals a breath of fresh air as crowds stay home amid contagion risks.

For the past two months, animals have been spending their days eating and sleeping in peace, as the Bangladesh National Zoo in Mirpur has remained closed since Mar 26.

“All animals are in good health and doing well. They are roaming around freely without fear inside their cages. The animals are consuming all the food given to them and there are no leftovers,” zoo curator Md Nurul Islam told

Some of the animal parents are peacefully raising their family in a tranquil environment, said Nurul, adding a giraffe pair welcomed a new baby on Mar 25.

More babies from other animal pairs are on the way, said the curator.

“The Emu bird has given birth to 11 babies. Several camel birds and peacocks have also laid eggs.”

The animals have been able to breed properly due to lack of human presence, according to Nurul. They are being provided with a balanced meal and the animals are laying eggs and giving birth regularly as a result, he said.

Hippos, lions and tigers were found to be going about their activities without any worries.

“The place is not currently buzzing with people. The animals are passing their days as they like. In the past, a lot of people used to crowd around the cages which frightened the animals. That fear has disappeared now. They are spending their time in peace and without worries,” said zoo photographer Anwar Rony.

The 286-acre zoo houses about 3,000 animals.

Under the ‘Modernization of Bangladesh National Zoo’ project, various development works, including road repairs, repair of various cages, construction of the front gate and parking, are underway. The project will continue for another year.

Nurul said the authorities have taken extra precautionary measures because of the coronavirus outbreak. No staffer has been infected, he said, adding disinfectants are sprayed in the cages of animals every few days.


The zoo animals will spend the Eid day like any other day. “There will be no exceptions or specialities in their food,” said Nurul.

“Changing their ration can lead to indigestion or stomach problems. As a result, there is no chance to do anything different for animals on special occasions.” The zoo officials and employees are taking care of the animals regularly even though there have been no visitors, he said. As many as 70 employees, led by three officials, are working in two shifts.

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