NC Zoo Reopens, Animals Begrudgingly Mask Up


Phase 3 of North Carolina’s reopening protocol has opened new doors for many struggling businesses, and the state’s zoo is no exception. “We’ve finally decided to reopen,” said head zoologist Stacy Williams, “And that means masks for everyone.”

Some, like Stella, a blue-winged leafbird, claimed that they were willing to do whatever was necessary to achieve herd, flock, school, colony, gaggle, pride, troop, pod, or pack immunity. Others, like Albert, a Northern polar bear, expressed utter disinterest: “I’ve been quarantining for the last thirteen years and I’ll be quarantining until the day I die. Go ahead, mask me up.”

Either way, Williams emphasized that safety was the zoo’s primary concern. “We’re all pretty excited about reopening,” she added. “Well, most of us.”

Tuma, an adult male proboscis monkey, commented that he preferred to “go native.” “A real man,” he asserted, “Knows how to sniff himself in style, because the ladies are always watching. And if style isn’t your thing, let me tell you. Safety isn’t it.” In retaliation, Tuma has initiated a new trend among the more daring male proboscis monkeys he calls “nose-hanging,” in which the nose is permitted to dangle outside the mask to preserve masculine crotch-sniffing capabilities. “We do it for dignity,” he remarked, “But I think the elephants are catching on.”

Williams reassured us that masking and social distancing policies will be enforced, although with spring mating season around the corner, there will certainly be challenges.  “It’s really just a matter of making sure every member of every species follows the rules,” she said. “We zookeepers are human, after all. We know how to do that.”