Lockdown, it would appear, is not to the taste of the resident bear population at Camperdown Wildlife Centre.
Brum, Brumma and Maja are missing their visitors, say zoo keepers caring for the bears while the centre is closed to the public.
Bradley Yule, conservation service manager, said staff had noticed the bears were frequently to be found looking out expectantly hoping to catch a glimpse of someone.
“There is little doubt that they are missing seeing their regular visitors,” he said.
“The keepers are very aware that the trio are aware that no one is coming to visit.”
Non-essential staff are no longer working at the centre but the zoo keepers are still working every day for all the animals.
While animals are being kept to their usual routines, it became apparent that the bears noticed life is a little different from normal.
However, for the majority of animals life goes on as usual and the keepers are being kept busy with the usual rounds of checking, feeding and cleaning and keeping a general eye on things.
Bradley said: “People are also being very considerate of us.
“Although we have plenty supplies for the animals people have very generously been offering us food if we need it, and offering to donate money.
“We’re not needing it, but it’s great that people are remembering us and making such kind offers.”
He said that, in the meantime, they had a plentiful supply of fruit and vegetables which were important foods for all the animals, including the bears, gibbons and bats, freshly prepared by the zookeepers each day, providing essential balanced nutrition. In one feed alone the three bears can eat 43kg of food.
The short-tailed bats are not be on public display but still cared for with a mix of processed fruit and vitamins with added whole fruit hung on branches in their enclosure.
Before the coronavirus pandemic resulted in national lockdown, the centre had been preparing to introduce a pair of critically endangered blue-throated macaws to the park.
He said: “We have had them a couple of months now but they haven’t been seen in public yet.
“The plan was that they would go out when the warmer weather came. That will still happen but sadly there will be no one around to see their introduction to the park.
“However, they will still be there when we re-open.”
Bradly also said that the centre would remain closed until government guidelines allowed them to re-open.