Since the Zoo sauvage de Saint-Félicien is a desert because of the containment, the behavior of its tigress has drastically changed. Kouma is more responsive, playful, and sociable towards his guards, surprised by this new situation.
In normal times, the tigress of ten years is rather disinterested by the game of tug-of-war installed in its habitat.
“She sees the guardians as the people who bring them food, says the director general of the Zoo of Saint-Félicien, Lauraine Gagnon. It does not tend to play with them. ”
At the beginning of April, a keeper of the zoo has therefore remained well surprised to see that Kuma was waiting eagerly for the game session.
“That day, when she saw our babysitter, Marie-Claude, she was immediately rushed on to the rope part, remembers Ms. Gagnon. Our guardian has not won!”
This behavior has stunned several members of the staff of the zoo.
“Often, it more or less tries to the tigers to play. This situation is, however, reproduced last week, adds the director. Since the beginning of the pandemic, they are very receptive to everything that happens a little different in their day.”
This behavior on the part of the tigress is quite normal in the circumstances, according to the teaching of psychology animal at York University, Suzanne MacDonald. As for humans, several species of bored for the containment and need to be stimulated.
“The guardians must ensure that they fill this gap with a variety of activities, emphasises the teacher. Pets usually adapt well to new standards of normalcy, and quickly develop new routines.”
Kuma is not the only one to have changed behavior. The polar bears held in Saint-Félicien are usually insensitive to the presence of the public, says the director.
“Now, they are surprised at the sight of the guards. I don’t know if they have forgotten the customer, but as soon as they see someone, that pique their curiosity and they follow them. ”
On 5 April, a tiger of Malaysia is hosted at the Bronx Zoo has been diagnosed COVID-19 positive, confirmed by u.s. authorities.
In response to this news, the Zoo sauvage de Saint-Félicien has quickly adapted its protocols of care to all felines.
“We check that the cleaning equipment remains in the habitats of the same species, underlines the director-general. We change the protective clothing regularly. We don’t want our animals to be sick, even if we do not know the severity of a contamination from an animal could take. ”
The Safari Park, the teams were separated according to their assignment in the zoo and can no longer meet.
“The last thing that one wants in the time of a pandemic, it is that there are more employees to care for the animals,” says Joanie Lamoureux, director of entertainment and education at the Safari Park. […] When it comes to cats, there is a combination of comprehensive coverage, since it is now known that the coronavirus can be transmitted to certain animals. ”
Expected to open
As the Granby Zoo and the Safari Park, the Zoo sauvage de Saint-Félicien is still awaiting the green light from the government to open its doors.
“We already know that this will be a catastrophic season on a financial level,” says Ms. Gagnon. We must put a cross on the European, or 30% of our customers and 55 000 visitors in less. Our fixed costs are$ 150,000 per month. It is worrying, but we prefer to open small than lose a full season. ”