Lucknow, May 8 (IANS) Animals in Lucknow zoo – known as the Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Zoological Garden – are happier in the absence of human presence during the lockdown.

“It is only the two chimpanzees, named Jessica and Jason, who are excited to see humans. Whenever we go to their enclosures, they come out and greet us happily. Even the four bears respond happily when they see us but the rest of the animals seem happier when they are not disturbed,” R K Singh, the director of the zoo, told IANS on Friday.

The Lucknow zoo has been closed to the public since March 23 due to the lockdown.

Singh said that some other animals and birds, in fact, had become more playful in their enclosures.

“They have been accustomed to visitors watching them, clicking their photographs and even calling out to them. These days, they seem to be enjoying their solitude,” he said.

An 11-year-old tiger, Chedilal, has been taking long naps and also walks in his enclosure. He is less aggressive and more relaxed.

“Except for zoo staff, the inmates are facing no human interaction. The stress factor has visibly reduced. There is no noise, except the chirping of birds. The animals are happy when their keepers go near their enclosures,” he said.

The zoo director said doctors and the authorities were keeping a close watch on the animals and all protocols, including disinfection and minimum contact of keepers and staff while providing feed to the animals, were being taken care of.

–IANS

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