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Chimpanzees at Russian wildlife park ‘depressed’ as COVID-19 measures stop visitors

By May 15, 2020 No Comments
It’s not just people struggling to avoid boredom during the global coronavirus-induced lockdown.
The chimpanzees at a Russian wildlife park started to show signs of depression after the constant stream of visitors suddenly stopped when the park went into quarantine on March 25.
The chimps at the Royev Ruchey Nature Park are watching cartoons to keep themselves entertained.(Maria Lents KP Krasnoyarsk)
The Lion King is a favourite.(Maria Lents, KP Krasnoyarsk )
Their carers at the Royev Ruchey Nature Park told The Siberian Times that the socialable primates value entertainment and communication with visitors as highly as food.
And like many caregivers, the park’s staff have resorted to keeping the chimps’ spirits up with some screentime in the form of cartoons.
“After seeing them getting sad we decided to put up a TV set on a wall, and started showing cartoons,” the park’s director Andrey Gorban told The Siberian Times.
“Their favourite is a Russian cartoon about an exhausted mother monkey who lives in a zoo. They are ready to watch it non-stop.”
Female chimp Anfisa likes to work on puzzles and toys while watching cartoons.(Oleg Chipura)
Her brother Tikhon prefers to sit on a sofa for his screentime.(Oleg Chipura)
Also a favourite is the Disney classic, The Lion King.
Male chimp Tikhon lies on a sofa to watch the cartoons, while his sister Anfisa prefers to multi-task, often unscrewing the nuts from a large children’s construction toy or putting on “lipstick” from an empty lipstick tube.
Located in the city of Krasnoyarsk in central Russia, the zoo cares for around 5000 animals.
The Siberian wildlife park is home to around 5000 animals.(Maria G)
Staff have stockpiled food and other supplies to help them last several weeks in quarantine inside the park.(Andrey Gorban)
Staff say they have enough food for themselves and the animals to last for several weeks.
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