SEOUL, Jul. 5 (Korea Bizwire) — Officials at Seoul Grand Park Zoo have decided to adopt 51 local stray cats that have been living on the premises into the zoo’s family.
Stray cats at the zoo had not been officially recognized by zoo authorities previously despite having lived there for a while, until officials announced earlier this week that they would fully embrace the feline friends in a heartfelt move which will see the 51 cats microchipped and looked after by zookeepers.
Seoul Grand Park’s move comes in the wake of an outbreak of bird flu that swept across the nation last December, forcing the zoo to shut down for over three months before reopening in March.
Worries surrounding the two storks at the zoo that perished around the same time as last year’s avian influenza outbreak led authorities at the facility to capture the 51 stray cats living at the zoo at that time, which were then neutralized, vaccinated and medically examined in an effort to stop the disease from spreading.
As the situation surrounding bird flu viruses slowly calmed down, the cats were then released back into the zoo under the watch of zoo authorities.
Among the 51 cats that have been equipped with a microchip, female cats were given a red collar, while male cats were given brown collars to differentiate them by gender.
Other efforts to incorporate the cats into the zoo’s family include an eating area consisting of 10 wooden boxes at which the rescued cats will be fed regularly.
Seoul Grand Park Zoo officials say they plan to give the cats booster injections, anthelmintics, and checkups on a regular basis to keep the newest members of the zoo safe and healthy.
In the meantime, 10 of the cats, including those neutralized and others that had a vasectomy, will be equipped with tracking devices as part of a research project at the zoo which will be conducted with the aim of comparing the behavior and movement of different groups of cats.