While humans are slaying 1500 piece puzzles and blasting through their Netflix queues, the animals of New Zealand’s zoos are pretty bored now that they don’t have a regular audience.
As if the phenomenon of bored zoo animals wasn’t tragic enough, the Guardian reports that many of them are continuing to show up for their daily “appointments” with humans, only to find themselves rudely stood up:
Nathan Hawke, from Orana wildlife park near Christchurch in the South Island, said zookeepers had observed that many of their rare and endangered animals were missing the attention of humans , and continued to show up for their daily “meet the public” appointments – despite there being no public to watch them any more.
Are they upset by the no-shows? For my own sanity, I choose to believe they feel relieved, as I do whenever a social engagement is canceled at the last minute. Then again:
The rhinos keep turning up for their 3.15pm appearances – when they usually get a belly rub – while the giraffes have remained punctual for their noon and 3pm commitments.
“People provide a great real-life stimulation for the animals, some of our very social animals, such as kea, are thinking something odd is up,” Hawke said.
In order to keep the animals entertained, zookeepers are doing things like taking llamas for long walks, spraying perfume in hiding places to amuse lions, and giving puzzle feeders and playing strange sounds for keas (a species of parrot).
At least we have endless livestreams of wildlife to entertain us. What are the animals watching?! Can they watch livestreams of other animals? Someone please look into this.