Image by Chel Sea from Pixabay

Winnipeg zoo goes digital to reduce risk of COVID-19 spread

Meerkats, tigers and bears—oh my.

After closing their doors to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading, the Assiniboine Park Conservancy in Winnipeg has launched a social media initiative that will bring its animals to the screens of computers and smart phones.

For the next two weeks on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the conservancy’s animal care professionals will take to Facebook Live to feature educational videos on animals at the zoo.

The Assiniboine Park Zoo closed on March 18, but the animal care staff has continued to tend to come into the facility to tend to the animals.

Laura Cabak, the conservancy’s manager of communications and public relations, told the Winnipeg Sun that the campaign is an opportunity to bring some education and entertainment into people’s homes.

“We’re really trying to cover a wide range of topics but connect it all to animals we have here at the zoo,” she said. “Hopefully someday in the not too distant future people can come back to the zoo and see the animals themselves.”

Each broadcast is expected to begin at 1p.m. CST and last for 10 to 15 minutes. The schedule for the live videos is listed below.

Monday, March 23: Animal Enrichment with Meerkats
Wednesday, March 25: Veterinary Care with Harbour Seals
Friday, March 27: Positive Reinforcement Training with Amur Tigers

Monday, March 30: Tropical Adaptations with Tropical Birds
Wednesday, April 1: Caring for Creatures with our Ambassador Animals
Friday, April 3: Conservation and Research with Polar Bears