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Zoo animals are doing fine, show up online in Beijing amid epidemic

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Pandas at the Beijing Zoo are saying hello to their fans online after the novel coronavirus outbreak forced the zoo to temporarily close to the public.

The zoo in the Chinese capital has been updating the daily lives of its animals on Chinese social media platforms since Saturday, uploading articles, videos and loads of pictures of the animals' training and feeding.

Meanwhile, Zhang Chenglin, deputy curator of the zoo, said they have increased zoo disinfection and health checks of animals while ensuring their food supplies are not disturbed during the epidemic.

"At present, all animals are doing fine," Zhang said. "The zoo may be closed, but our job of caring for the animals continues, at even higher standards. The only difference is the absence of tourists."

The century-old zoo has been closed to the public since Jan. 24, the beginning of the Spring Festival holiday, after health authorities advised the public to stay indoors amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. It received more than 240,000 tourists during last year's week-long Spring Festival holiday.

So far, the "online zoo" has featured black muntjacs, giant pandas and golden monkeys. The latest article published by the "online zoo" introduces all 10 pandas in the zoo, followed by pictures and videos showing them sauntering in snow and loudly munching bamboo.

The "online zoo" will be open every other day, Zhang said, adding that the service will be maintained after the zoo re-opens to the public.

The Beijing Zoo, founded in 1906, is the oldest zoo in China.

Xinhua


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