At least one creature is coming out of isolation. The Montreal Ecomuseum reports that its bear, Genie, has emerged from hibernation, heralding the arrival of spring. Video shows the groggy animal stretch along the trunk of a tree before slumping to the ground and putting her legs in the air as if surrendering to a desire to snooze past her natural alarm.
A subsequent video on the Ecomuseum Instagram page shows that Genie quickly got to work playing with a log.
"It's the kind of day where we all need to see Genie having fun with a log offered by our zookeepers," the museum writes in the caption.
The bear will find no visitors as she settles into her waking state, however.
The Ecomuseum is closed until further notice — just one of dozens of institutions across Montreal that have shut down either voluntarily or under government order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"The health and safety of our visitors, employees, and volunteers is of the utmost importance for us. We hope to see this crisis dissipate as quickly as possible and this requires everyone to act as a responsible citizen," the museum wrote on its Facebook page.
"Please rest assured that all the animals in our care will continue to receive all the attention required to ensure their well-being during this closing period."
The sight of Genie enjoying her habitat will likely be a welcome visual break for Montrealers who have had to contend with a torrent of dark news this week.
As she steps out into the snow, humans in the city are largely sheltering in place until the outbreak subsides.
On its website, the Montreal Ecomuseum claims to be "the only zoo exclusively dedicated to Québec wildlife," welcoming "non-releasable animals that cannot return to the wild and [providing] them a safe and loving home within an organization entirely devoted to their well-being"
"The zoo's mission is centered on environmental education, the conservation of wildlife and its natural habitats and the well-being of animals."
"Every detail is considered to ensure the well-being of the animals in our care. Our team stops at nothing to safeguard their mental, emotional and physical well-being."
More information on the Ecomuseum is available on its website here.
We strongly advise that before you go visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security and animal rights. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment and the animals.
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