Meerkats seem to rejoice when zoo visitors return after lockdown By Patrick Pester First Published 1 day ago 00000 Penguins just carried on as normal. Meerkats at a Zoo in Italy during a nationwide lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19. (Image credit: Stefano Guid
When humans flooded their zoo in South Africa, after months of lockdown, the African penguins couldn't have cared less, according to a new study. Meanwhile, the bubbly meerkats at a zoo in the U.K. seemed uplifted by their bipedal visitors. Slender-tailed meerkats (Suricata suricatta) interacted more positively with each other after humans returned to their exhibits, while African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) just carried on as if nothing had changed. Researchers studied the behavior of the animals before and after zoos reopened in the U.K. and South Africa to learn more about how lockdown affected them. Their results were published in the March issue of the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science.
"We can't say what the animals were feeling, but the positive behaviors that we observed (e.g. positive social interactions with each other and positive human-animal interactions) suggest the return of visitors was a positive and engaging experience for the meerkats," first author Ellen Williams, a lecturer in animal behavior and welfare at Harper Adams University in the U.K., told Live Science in an email.
Meerkats seem to rejoice when zoo visitors return after lockdown By Patrick Pester First Published 23 hours ago 00600 Penguins just carried on as normal. Meerkats at a Zoo in Italy during a nationwide win to control the spread of COY, 3-19. (Image credit: Stefano Gui di / Contributor via Getty Images)