The COVID-19 pandemic has really changed the face of our world in terms of business, many of which have had to close temporarily while everyone self-isolates. Affected by this pandemic have been hotels – many of whom have closed. However, there are still a lot of things going on even in closed hotels in terms of caring for the properties as well as any guests still inside – such as animals.
The Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been a historic institution, but since 2015, it’s had a falconry program which gives hotel guests a chance to observe birds of prey, as well as learn basic falconry skills. However, since the outbreak of the pandemic, master falconer Deanna Curtis and her team have been busy checking in on the resort’s bird flock, made up of four falcons, four hawks, and an owl. They need to make sure that the birds’ health is maintained, as well as they are kept mentally stimulated.
As Curtis shared with Travel + Leisure, “I’m here every day cleaning, training, and flying the birds. They still need enrichment, and so do I!”
Besides getting their regular exercise, all their birds have received training for a new lure-flying class. Additionally, they may also be part of a new hunting program that would incorporate some of Curtis’ hunting dogs.
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A short video of our falcons in order to help brighten your day. From front to back: Lynyrd Skynard the prairie falcon, Earl the peregrine falcon, Chase the saker falcon, and Dassi the saker falcon. #falcon #falconry #falconryschool #falconrylife #broadmooroutfitters #broadmoor #broadmoorhotel #broadmoorresort #peregrinefalcon #sakerfalcon #prairiefalcon #falconbath
And the maintenance of pets in hotels isn’t just reserved for the states. In fact, down in Costa Rica, near the Arenal Volcano National Park, the wildlife experts of the Nayara Springs have remained on the premises in order to keep an eye on the wildlife. Led by Juan Pablo Castillo, the team would normally be offering activities such morning bird-watching, visits to the onsite sloth sanctuary, and night walks. However, now, their main focus is to keep an eye on the animals.
Castillo said, “We dedicate an hour each morning to monitor the sloths, monkeys, and toucans, among other animals. Just last week we helped a sloth back into a guarumo tree it had fallen from.”
As Castillo revealed, on most days he and his team see both two and three-toed sloths chilling up in the trees. However, more recently, they’ve started noticing more new sloth babies – signs of a whole new generation.
“Just like the rest of us, they are looking forward to welcoming guests and new friends soon,” Castillo said.
Over in Spain, on the Balearic island of Mallorca, there is the Belmond La Residencia which is also home to five resident donkeys. Currently, they are being looked after by a front-desk staff member who volunteered to look after Pancho, Alba, Fosque, Luna, and Gitanillo. On a normal day, these adorable donkeys would be busy taking guests on walks through the property’s 30-acre olive grove. However, Alba would be busy in her post in the Kid’s Club, where she’s the official mascot, as well as a provider of donkey rides. However, with their jobs temporarily on hold, these five donkeys are enjoying a break and get to relax.
As many live game drives on social media have suggested, there are plenty of safari lodges and hotels across the African continent that are continuing their conservation work, as well as monitoring local wildlife, despite the pandemic, like the popular Giraffe Manor in Nairobi. While many people might make the mistake of thinking those giraffes are domesticated, they’re actually not. Instead, they’re the wild residents of the wildlife sanctuary that spans 140 acres. The Kenya Wildlife Services is still busy keeping tabs on the animals, as well as interfering if medical care is needed.
Of course, in the more remote areas beyond the lodge, there is always an increased risk of poaching due to the decrease in tourism. This means that staff members are needed to not only go out onto the reserves to make sure there are no nefarious activities going on, but they need to be maintaining social-distancing measures of their own in order to stay disease-free. It is definitely not an easy job, but it is something that is needed for animal health and safety. Of course, the live feeds on social media pages like Instagram are a nice treat for us.
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.
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