Work doesn't stop at the Philadelphia Zoo despite city shutdown

As we continue our countdown to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we check in with the Philadelphia Zoo.

America's oldest Zoo is not open to the public right now. But behind closed doors, the care for the animals hasn't stopped.

The beautiful gardens are in full bloom, but the paths are mostly empty these days.

"We certainly feel like the animals are missing the people, says Ian Gereg, Curator of Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians at the Zoo.

But the Zoo staff is still fully engaged taking care of their animal kingdom," says Donna Evernham, Curator Carnivores & Ungulates.

"We're here every day, just like we were three weeks ago," Evernham says.

And that is especially important with babies being born.

The Zoo has a new sloth bear cub and two baby black and white ruffed lemurs.

"They're getting all the enrichment they normally get, all the multiple feedings every day. Everything is cleaned every day as it should be," says Michael Stern, Curator Primates and Small Mammals.

An Amur Tiger at the Bronx Zoo was diagnosed with coronavirus earlier this week. So, keepers at the Philadelphia Zoo are being extra vigilant.

"The Zoo's keeper team is very attentive to changes in animal physiology, and behavior," says Gereg.

The zoo has an onsite animal hospital with a team of veterinarians to handle any concerns.

Recently, they've been busy nursing a green anaconda back to health. Performing surgery on a 12-foot snake comes with challenges, but the first round of surgery was successful.

It's annual check-up time for the Zoo's colony of Humboldt Penguins, who will go through an entire physical.

The birds also receive their annual West Nile vaccinations.

And the zoo is expecting even more babies this year.

"We do have four eggs currently. So we're hoping to have chicks. The first one is actually due April 13," Ivins says.
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