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.

the sting Milestones

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

The EU learns about fishing and banking from tiny Iceland

Which EU countries have to correct their economic policies?

CHALLENGING THE ZEITGEIST OF DIGITAL – Change making projects innovate mobile support for refugees, inclusive environments, early breast cancer detection and more

One good reason to feel less blue about the future of our oceans

Europe bows to Turkey’s rulers, sends Syrian refugees back to chaos

Data exchanges: Strengthening Europol cooperation with non-EU countries

Jellyfish are taking over the world – and climate change could be to blame

UN welcomes ‘most comprehensive agreement ever’ on global health

These Asian economies invested in their people – and it paid off

Conflict of interest and misuse of EU funds: The case of Czech PM Babiš

Natural gas: Parliament extends EU rules to pipelines from non-EU countries

Mobile technology facilitating social distance in the middle of a pandemic

Eliminating hepatitis calls for ‘bold political leadership, with investments to match,’ UN health chief says

Some 300,000 Venezuelan children in Colombia need humanitarian assistance; UNICEF looks to boost response funding

Youth Internationalization: part of everyday life in JADE

EU elections 2019: Rise of nationalist trends and populism in Europe challenges the EU edifice

COVID-19: the universal enemy on the battlefield

Finance for SMEs: Alternative supply mechanisms do exist

Commerce is on the cusp of radical change. Is your organization ready?

Deep fakes could threaten democracy. What are they and what can be done?

UN cooperation with League of Arab States ‘pivotal’, UN chief tells Security Council

Migration: Commission takes action to find solutions for unaccompanied migrant children on Greek islands

HIV: embrace not disgrace

Regulate social media platforms to defend democracy, MEPs say

A new catastrophic phase in the Syrian carnage

Coronavirus: Commission approves contract with CureVac to ensure access to a potential vaccine

The impact of COVID-19 on the life of the elderly

COVID-19 is more deadly for some ethnic groups

Disappearing water in a warming climate: a story in four visuals

State aid: Commission approves €39.7 million Latvian measures to recapitalise Riga International Airport

6 ways travelling professionals can cut their carbon footprint

Germany openly seeks more advantages for its banks

‘Collective amnesia’ over causes of global financial crash – human rights expert

The European Parliament x-rays the troika’s doings

Coronavirus: Commission concludes exploratory talks with Valneva to secure a new potential vaccine

Deliver ‘significant results now’, UN General Assembly President tells COP25 climate conference

Gender parity has a huge role to play in the fight to save our oceans

Behind the firewall: a discussion on the evolution of cybersecurity in the utility industry

Austria’s EU Presidency: Chancellor Sebastian Kurz aims to “build bridges”

Why quantum computing could make today’s cybersecurity obsolete

EU deploys immediate assistance to help Cyprus contain devastating forest fires

World Migratory Bird Day highlights deadly risks of plastic pollution

Vulnerable young people must not be blamed & stigmatised for violent radicalisation

West Darfur tensions could see 30,000 flee across Sudanese border to Chad: UN refugee agency

Independent Ethics Body: improving transparency and integrity in EU institutions

Do we need a new Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after COVID-19?

A Sting Exclusive: “Doing ourselves a favour”, Vice President Dombrovskis underscores that this time growth has to come from within the EU

Portuguese Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees

COVID-19 sparked an economic crisis ‘like no other’ – but these measures can help now: WHO, IMF

‘Continuing deterioration’ leaves Mali facing critical security level: UN expert

Italy and Greece zeroed their fiscal deficits, expect Germany’s response

NextGenerationEU: European Commission disburses €12.1 million in pre-financing to Luxembourg

Venezuela: Parliament calls for urgent EU help for people fleeing the country

Commission notifies the Republic of Panama over the need to step up action to fight against illegal fishing

How defining intangible investments can help grow the knowledge economy

Both sides in Libya conflict agree need for lasting ceasefire: UN negotiator

What is the UN General Assembly and what does it do?

20 years on from landmark Mine Ban Treaty, dangers on the rise to life and limb

Making Artificial Intelligence ethical, safe and innovative

A Valentine’s Special: giving back, a dialogue of love

More Stings?

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

%d bloggers like this: