Zoo Shorts: An exceptional project during the quarantine

News

20. 03. 2020


The short videos published on social networks by Prague Zoo’s employees, headed by the director, have received great feedback from the Zoo’s visitors and supporters. The brief videos, shot by mobile phones only, capture different aspects of life in a zoo that is closed to the public. Naturally, they mainly concern animals and provide viewers with information, lessons learned as well as a welcome distraction during the quarantine period. Six videos lasting half a minute to two minutes are published daily. All of these videos have been collected on the Zoo Shorts channel on YouTube.

One of the most successful videos is that of the gorilla family, especially Richard. Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo One of the most successful videos is that of the gorilla family, especially Richard. Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo

“After closing Prague Zoo on Friday, the 13th of March, we began to get a lot of questions about whether we were going to somehow show what was happening inside,” explained Miroslav Bobek, project initiator and Prague Zoo’s Director. “So, we started thinking about various Internet broadcasts. However, this would mean that there would have to be other people moving around the zoo to film it. Our aim was to have as few people as possible; our goal is to prevent the spread of the disease. Therefore, on Monday, March 16th, without giving it much thought, I tried to make a very simple, short video on my phone and put it on Facebook. Then I made the second and third. To my surprise, these improvised videos have found their audience. Then when my colleagues, the keepers, started to send me interesting clips, we decided to run a YouTube channel consisting of shorts from Prague Zoo.”

Prague Zoo is closed now and is run by a skeleton crew; its grounds are mainly occupied by those in charge of the animals and the most basic operations: curators, keepers, the vet, feeders, maintenance workers and the like. At a rough estimate, there is about a third of the workforce in the zoo now compared to normal.

The Zoo Shorts channel can be found here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChEXjuYx8GyEYeMYP7LGUTA

The audience was also really taken by the video from the polar bear enclosure. Photo: Roman Vodička, Prague ZooThe audience was also really taken by the video from the polar bear enclosure. Photo: Roman Vodička, Prague Zoo