SEOUL, Mar. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — Fine dust is devastating South Korea.
In Seoul, Incheon, and the Gyeonggi area, emergency measures to cut down fine dust levels have been in place for five straight days as severe fine dust has dominated daily life and the health of local residents.
Even pets, as well as zoo animals, are receiving a significant amount of stress for not being able to go outside.
Animals are as vulnerable as human beings when it comes to fine dust.
“Dogs too are affected by fine dust. During periods of severe dust, dogs are exposed to risks of fever, coughing, runny nose and bloodshot eyes,” said Dr. Seong Nak-hyeon, the director of Suwon Duri Hospital.
“Since dogs can’t wear masks, they should refrain from going outdoors, and drink a lot of water.”
“While there are no studies or data on how fine dust affects animals, we can observe that more dogs fall victim to respiratory diseases during periods of severe fine dust,” he added.
“But I can’t say for sure if it is because of seasonal transition or fine dust.”
Everland, a major amusement park in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, is scrambling to keep zoo animals healthy despite the poor air quality.
The amusement park is washing both outdoor and indoor cages as frequently as possible to get rid of fine dust. It has also installed air purifiers in some cages, and has been providing more water to animals.
Zookeepers are closely monitoring animals for any health issues, with immediate access to a veterinarian in case of emergencies.
Two pandas at Everland are safe from fine dust as they live inside a dome cage. The dogs in animal shelters, however, are in worse situations.
The Animal Rescue Center in Yongin, currently home to some 140 dogs, is barely capable of keeping them safe from fine dust.
“We are currently working on bathing facilities, staffing, and other more urgent matters to provide the dogs with proper care,” said one employee. “It is beyond our capacity to deal with fine dust at the moment.”
Lina Jang (email@example.com)