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Calgary Zoo brings animal facts, videos to those at home during coronavirus pandemic

King penguins are seen at the Calgary Zoo.
King penguins are seen at the Calgary Zoo. Global News

Did you know penguins have knees? Or that hippos need their teeth cleaned?

Those are just some of the facts the Calgary Zoo is hoping to share — as much of the world spends time at home during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Because of city and provincial efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the Calgary Zoo is one of many businesses and attractions in the city that have closed its doors.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Calgary cancellations and postponements due to COVID-19

That doesn’t mean the learning stops though. In an effort to keep sharing the joy and knowledge, the zoo has started sharing Daily Dose at Home videos on its Instagram page.

The zoo said it’s using unique videos of behind-the-scenes zoo activity during the temporary closure to keep people engaged with conservation and animal care programs at the facility.

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“In such challenging times, we wanted to bring some joy, a little bit of fun and of course lots of education because we’re Calgary’s biggest living classroom,” Alison Archambault, a spokesperson with the Calgary Zoo, said.

“Each segment also includes an educational piece about the animals, the keepers and what the Calgary Zoo does with them.”

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On Tuesday, viewers got a glimpse of the king penguins waddling freely around the zoo after a fresh snowfall.

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Here’s a Daily Dose of joy, from us to you.🐧 We’re reaching out to you daily from behind the scenes during this temporary closure with unique Calgary Zoo experiences and virtual opportunities to engage with us, learn more about the animals in our care, and deep dive into our conservation programs. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Today our kings got to waddle while our gates were closed to the public, and our gentoos enjoyed a fresh snowfall! Did you know that penguins, like humans, have knees? Their legs appear short only because a large upper portion of their leg is obscured by dense feathers!⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Check back daily to keep spirits high and keep inquiring minds engaged. Stay tuned! ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ #YYCZooSupportingYou #YYCNow #YYCLiving #YYClife #YYCtoday #YYCBuzz #yyclocal #YYCCharity #YYC

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The birds were seen strolling the walkways, prancing in the snow and playing together.

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“Did you know that penguins, like humans, have knees?” the zoo shared along with the video.

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“Their legs appear short only because a large upper portion of their leg is obscured by dense feathers.”

LISTEN: Calgary Zoo continues to bring content to the public amid COVID-19 closure

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On Wednesday, the zoo showcased the hippos. In one video, audiences get a peek at male hippo Lobi’s three-step, daily oral healthcare routine to treat gingivitis.

In the video, a senior zookeeper is seen spraying the inside of the hippo’s wide mouth with a hose before brushing his massive teeth with an electric toothbrush and applying peroxide to his gums.

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Lobi is seen munching on treats during the process.

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Today’s Daily Dose = Hippos! Senior Zookeeper Heather takes you behind the scenes with our male hippo Lobi for his daily gingivitis treatment. Check back daily for more behind the scenes unique Calgary Zoo experiences during this temporary closure. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Next up today: Your Daily Dose At Home! Keep an eye out for our next post today featuring even more behind the scenes info on our hippo habitat, and a bit of fun hippo math for those of you with kiddos at home!⁣⁣ Keeping spirits high. Keeping minds engaged. #YYCZooSupportingYou Check the link in our bio 👆🏼for more Daily Doses!⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ #YYCNow #YYCLiving #YYClife #YYCtoday#YYCBuzz #yyclocal #YYCCharity #YYC⁣⁣

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The zoo also shared features of the hippo habitat and animal math activities that parents could do with children at home. Finally, two of the hippos are seen snacking on roses in a third video.

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Archambault said these videos aren’t just for audiences, but for the animals too, who miss being visited by the public each day.

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“Some of our animals really enjoy having visitors,” she said.

“Some of our gorillas we’re noticing are having a difference in behaviour and they miss having the visitors around, and it’s same with the penguins.”

The videos can also be viewed on Calgary Zoo’s YouTube page, for those who don’t have Instagram.