Coronavirus: How zoo animals are handling the lockdown

Our cats and dogs are likely enjoying the extra company during the lockdown, but for hundreds of animals inside zoos their daily dose of face-time has been put on hold.

It was playtime for the meerkats at Wellington Zoo on Saturday. Unlike the rest of us, there's no social distancing required.

No visitors means extra room to roam.

Dingos venturing outside their neighbourhood this morning came face-to-face with some equally curious otters.

"Some of them might be finding it a bit different without visitors around," Wellington Zoo's Daniel Warsaw says.

Zookeepers are deemed essential workers, feeding the animals and helping them beat the isolation blues.

"Our tigers yesterday were a little bit more interested in the keepers when they arrived than in normal days, which is kind of indicative of the fact they don't have the visitors around them," Warsaw says.

For the wildlife at Auckland Zoo it's a similar feeling without guests for a month.

The capybara tested out a new mud bath, enjoying the privacy for now.

"If anything I think some of them are missing our visitors so they're particularly interested in seeing people around our site now that they wouldn't have been before," says Kevin Buley, from Auckland Zoo.

Staff all too keen to welcome the animals into their lockdown bubbles.

"We're doing what we can to keep our animals and our staff safe and we're looking forward to welcoming people back here when it's safe to do so," Buley says.

Until then the animals are adapting to a month of quiet time, just like the rest of us.