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Animal behaviour is changing as lockdown continues

PUBLISHED: 08:45 30 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:37 01 May 2020

Imogen White, manager of Cromer’s Amazona Zoo, feeding a squirrel monkey. Picture: Amazona Zoo

Imogen White, manager of Cromer’s Amazona Zoo, feeding a squirrel monkey. Picture: Amazona Zoo

Archant

Wild cats have got braver while monkeys are missing attention as the lockdown goes on at a Norfolk Zoo.

Imogen White, manager of Cromer’s Amazona Zoo, with a South American coati. Picture: Chris TaylorImogen White, manager of Cromer’s Amazona Zoo, with a South American coati. Picture: Chris Taylor

Imogen White, manager of Cromer’s Amazona Zoo, said there had been some behavioural changes among the 200 South American animals and birds on the 14-acre site.

Mrs White, who lives at the zoo with her husband, said: “Our jaguarundi, which are small cats that are normally very timid, have been out and about most days.

“Others are missing their interactions with the visitors, such as our capuchin [monkeys], who are very cheeky and like a lot of attention.”

Mrs White said some animals seemed to fare better without visitors.

She said: “Having lots of visitors around causes noise and this can disturb some natural behaviours. “This being said all are animals are used to people being here and the noise that this brings.

“When the doors close for the day at normally 5pm, they know that its quiet then and they shouldn’t be disturbed.”

The zoo normally has 10-15 staff members. During its current closure Mrs White is looking after the animals along with four keepers and two maintenance staff.

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Mrs White has managed the zoo for eight of the past 12 years she has worked there.

She said she had been delighted with the support they’d had from businesses, which had donated fruit and vegetables for the animals that would otherwise be thrown away.

Mrs White said: “This helps in two ways, firstly it stops waste going to landfill and secondly has helped us save some money. We rely solely on visitors coming through the door and at this time, we have no income.

“So any way that we can save some money is a bonus. Morrisons in Cromer has been particularly supportive.”

Mrs White said they had also had a lot of supportive messages from members of the public.

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She said: “We have received letters and cards, donations on our JustGiving page, and loads of lovely comments on social media. Saying thank you virtually doesn’t seem enough, but we hope people realise how grateful we truly are.

“We would like people to know that our animals are still being cared for to a very high standard with our dedicated and caring team here looking after them.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/amazona-zoo to donate.

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