3 ways the coronavirus is affecting animals around the world

animals

(Scott Walsh, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Josephine Moulds, Freelance journalist,


  • Experts call for a ban on the trade of wildlife.
  • A tiger has a confirmed case of coronavirus in New York.
  • Wildlife are roaming free, while humans self-isolate.

The coronavirus has upended our way of life – but it’s also having a dramatic impact on animals across the globe, too, from the coughing tiger in New York to emboldened goats on the streets of Wales.

 

1. Global wildlife trade is in the spotlight.

The pandemic is thought to have originated at a market selling wild animals in China, throwing a spotlight on the global wildlife trade. The New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society is urging governments to ban live animal markets, and stop illegal trafficking and poaching of wild animals.

The Wildlife Conservation Society is urging an end to wildlife trade.
Image: Wildlife Conservation Society

In the wake of the initial outbreak in Wuhan, China introduced a ban on all farming and consumption of live wildlife, which is expected to become law later this year.

There are growing calls for countries around the world to ban “wet markets” – which sell live and dead animals for human consumption – to prevent future pandemics. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, acting executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, and Jinfeng Zhou, secretary general of the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation, have added their voices to calls for authorities to make the ban on wildlife markets permanent.

2. Zoo animals are getting sick and missing human attention.

The coronavirus is a zoonotic disease, meaning it jumped from animals to humans. Now, it seems to be jumping back.

On Monday, news emerged that a tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the coronavirus. It is thought the tiger, named Nadia, along with six other big cats, were infected by an asymptomatic zoo keeper. The cats have been showing symptoms, including a dry cough, since late March. Paul Calle, the chief vet at the zoo, told Reuters, “This is the first time that any of us know of anywhere in the world that a person infected the animal and the animal got sick.”

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has since reiterated that there is no evidence yet that pets can spread COVID-19 to people or that they might be a source of infection in the US.

What is the World Economic Forum doing about the coronavirus outbreak?

A new strain of Coronavirus, COVID 19, is spreading around the world, causing deaths and major disruption to the global economy.

Responding to this crisis requires global cooperation among governments, international organizations and the business community, which is at the centre of the World Economic Forum’s mission as the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.

The Forum has created the COVID Action Platform, a global platform to convene the business community for collective action, protect people’s livelihoods and facilitate business continuity, and mobilize support for the COVID-19 response. The platform is created with the support of the World Health Organization and is open to all businesses and industry groups, as well as other stakeholders, aiming to integrate and inform joint action.

As an organization, the Forum has a track record of supporting efforts to contain epidemics. In 2017, at our Annual Meeting, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was launched – bringing together experts from government, business, health, academia and civil society to accelerate the development of vaccines. CEPI is currently supporting the race to develop a vaccine against this strand of the coronavirus.

Zoos across the globe have been closed as part of national lockdown and zookeepers says their most intelligent and social animals – including gorillas, otters and meerkats – are missing the attention of humans. Nathan Hawke, from Orana wildlife park in New Zealand, told The Guardian that many rare and endangered animals continued to show up for their daily “meet the public” appointments – despite the fact there is nobody there to watch them.

Zoo animals’ newfound privacy may have had some unexpected benefits. In Ocean Park in Hong Kong, it is thought that Ying Ying, one of the resident pandas, may be pregnant after 10 years of attempts at natural mating. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the park has been closed to visitors since late January. Michael Boos, executive director at Ocean Park, said, “The successful natural mating process today is extremely exciting for all of us, as the chance of pregnancy via natural mating is higher than by artificial insemination.”

3. Wildlife is running…wild.

With humans self-isolating in their homes, animals that usually stay away from urban areas now have space to roam. In northern India, a herd of deer was caught on camera walking the streets of Haridwar during the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. And wild boar have been spotted in the centre of Barcelona, Spain.

In Wales, mountain goats are causing havoc on the streets of Llandudno.

Wild goats are venturing further into town in Wales.
Image: Andrew Stuart

While rival gangs of monkeys brawled over food in Lopburi, Thailand.

Becky Thomas, senior Teaching Fellow in Ecology, Royal Holloway, says there will be winners and losers from this temporary change in human behaviour. In the UK, hedgehogs are enjoying relatively car free roads, but ducks, which rely on food provided by humans, are going hungry.

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Vaccines: from miracle to possible danger

On Youth Education: “Just a normal day in the life of a medical student”

Juncker’s Investment Plan in desperate need for trust and funds from public and private investors

Mandela, ‘true symbol of human greatness’, celebrated on centenary of his birth

The time for cities to get smart is now

COP21 Breaking News: “We must accelerate the process”, Laurent Fabius cries out from Paris

UN food aid to Yemen will fully resume after two-month break, as Houthis ‘guarantee’ delivery

Europe can be at the heart of tech with purpose

From Kenya to China, here’s why countries should start working together on AI

MWC 2016 LIVE: Getty chief says one in four new images from phones

The EU threatens to occupy Libya militarily; is another colonial war brewing?

Poorer countries set to be ‘increasingly dependent’ on food imports, says UN food agency report

The next EU President will first have to drink his tea at Downing Street

Here’s how tech is revolutionising transport for low-income communities in urban Africa

Posting of workers: final vote on equal pay and working conditions

The world’s e-waste is a huge problem. It’s also a golden opportunity

Youth leaders share positive visions of the future, as Guterres launches UN75 in New York

EU-wide rules for safety of drones approved by European Parliament

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

Government internet ban leaves parts of Myanmar ‘in a blackout’, UN expert calls for immediate lifting

Malta: MEPs conclude fact-finding visit to assess Caruana Galizia murder inquiry

This research can help organizations plan for different COVID-19 scenarios

Suicide Prevention: Using Graduation as a Transformative Tool

EU budget: Commission helps prepare new Cohesion programmes with Regional Competitiveness Index and Eurobarometer

JADE Team at the European Business Summit 2017

EU future at stake: MEPs broadly welcome Commission’s recovery package proposals

FROM THE FIELD: Enslaved Guatemalan indigenous women wait for reparations

UN’s Grandi slams ‘toxic language of politics’ aimed at refugees, migrants

FROM THE FIELD: Sailing a traditional and sustainable path in Fiji’s tropical waters

‘Free state aid’ for imprudent banks

Reforms in a few countries drive a decline in average OECD labour taxes

Switzerland fast-tracks emergency aid for small businesses weathering COVID-19

Protection of workers from biological agents: how to classify COVID-19

Commission reinforces tools to ensure Europe’s interests in international trade

At Arab League Summit, Guterres reaffirms strong link between UN and people of Arab world

Brexit update: Will the EU grant extention to Britain preventing economic chaos?

Climate action: 4 shifts the UN chief encourages Governments to make

‘Emulate his example’ urges UN chief as world celebrates Nelson Mandela: a ‘global advocate for dignity and equality’

Austerity lovers and ‘relaxationists’ fight over the EU budget

Google succumbs unconditionally to EU’s “right to be forgotten” ruling

Volkswagen getting away with it in Europe

Fed, ECB take positions to face the next global financial crisis; the Brits uncovered

On European immigration: Europe’s Missing Citizens

Female African coders ‘on the front-line of the battle’ to change gender power relations: UN chief

Commission steps up fight against money laundering and terrorist financing

France fails again the exams. Kindly requested to sit in on Commission’s class

When is necessary understand the cultural marks in health-disease process

EU Budget 2019 deal: EP boosts support for researchers and the young

G20 LIVE: World Leaders in Turkey for G20 Summit. Global Economy will be discussed in Antalya

Shaping the Conference on the Future of Europe

3 technologies that could define the next decade of cybersecurity

Brexit deal approved by the European Parliament

Teenagers’ career expectations narrowing to limited range of jobs, OECD PISA report finds

Women’s rights: MEPs call for action to fight backlash against gender equality

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s speech from World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of New Champions

Ecocraft: take gaming to another level by greening Minecraft

Heat-resistant crops, ‘green’ infrastructure, can prepare Near East and North Africa to better tackle droughts – UN agency

Speeches of Vice Premier LIU He and Vice President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen at the Press Conference of the Seventh China-EU High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue

UN General Assembly urges greater protection for Palestinians, deplores Israel’s ‘excessive’ use of force

Capital markets selloff: The financial moguls send messages to monetary authorities

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s