Social Distance Keeps Humans Safe at Argentina’s Mundo Marino
As attractions started to close, country-wide quarantines were implemented and the world slowly shut down, a new challenge arose for many institutions dedicated to the conservation and well-being of animals. How do you guarantee appropriate animal care during a global pandemic? You think ahead and you plan, that’s exactly what Mundo Marino Educational Park did, and it worked.
A week before Argentina’s president ordered preventive and mandatory social isolation, the country’s largest aquarium, located in Buenos Aires, had already put into practice safe management protocols to protect personnel and at the same time guarantee the care and welfare of its animals.
"In the context of quarantine, what we did was divide ourselves into two teams that worked seven day shifts each. This was to ensure that in the event that one group had to isolate itself, the other could continue to care for the animals normally. It is a kind of reinsurance to prevent all caregivers, veterinarians, and technicians from having to isolate themselves at the same time if anyone becomes infected,” explains Juan Pablo Loureiro, veterinary technical director of Mundo Marino.
The aquarium staff also performs a deep cleaning and sanitation of all the areas they work in before the next shift comes in. “We’re learning every day what to do and how to keep our workspace as safe as possible for our colleagues,” assures Florencia Speciale, staff member at Mundo Marino.
And while penguins do not have to stay 6-feet apart during a global pandemic, animals at Mundo Marino are enjoying a new set of routines that include fun games and stimulating activities to keep them physically and mentally active. Keeping up with a nutritious and balanced meal, caretakers at Mundo Marino says their animals are as safe and healthy as can be.