Coronavirus: Thousands of self-isolating Brits crash Edinburgh Zoo’s website by watching mating penguins online


SELF-isolating Brits have crashed Edinburgh zoo’s website this morning by watching mating penguins online.

Hundreds of thousands of  viewers flocked to the zoo’s site to take their mind off coronavirus and enjoy the live animal cameras.

⚠ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates on Covid-19

Stuck at home Scots are going crazy for Edinburgh Zoo’s animalcams

Fans can watch penguins live

It comes as viewings this week reached nearly half a million in total – a 5,000 per cent increase from last week’s figures.

Livecam viewers can watch the zoo’s tigers, pandas and koalas throughout the day.

But the zoo’s penguincam has attracted the most attention, with animal fans lining up to watch as mating season gets underway.

Scots stuck at home can spy the gentoo penguins’ mating ritual of squabbling over pebbles to attract their mate.

Senior Penguin Keeper Dawn Nicoll said: “Penguin breeding season is one of the most exciting times here at Edinburgh Zoo.

“After placing the nests and pebbles in Penguins Rock, it is fantastic to watch the gentoos pick out their favourite stone, find their mate and choose a nest together.”

Animal lovers were quick to share the news on social media.

One quarantined fan gushed: “THERE ARE PENGUINCAMS I REPEAT THERE ARE PENGUINCAMS. Lots of animal-cam watching coming up this week.”

Another said: “Feeling slightly insane? I got you: penguincams.”

Edinburgh Zoo remains open at this time

Edinburgh Zoo’s Communications Manager Sarah Sutton said: “The webcams have always been popular but in the last few days the views have sky-rocketed.

“There are some challenges to cope with now our views have more than doubled, but we’ve got a tech team on it to make sure people can still get through.

“The fact that we’re still able to connect people to nature when people are stuck at home is incredible.

“A lot of people find it calming and soothing.”

Despite coronavirus fears, Edinburgh Zoo has decided to remain open and says it will continue to follow government advice.

It comes as thousands of pupils across Scotland will leave school for what looks likely to be the last time for months today.

We told you on Wednesday how Nicola Sturgeon said the closure of 2,500 schools, with 700,000 pupils, was now “inevitable” due to the growing spread of coronavirus.

Today the First Minister praised the majority of Scots who have resisted the temptation to panic buy items.

But she urged those who have been stockpiling, leaving shelves bare for others, to refrain from doing so.

It came following the announcement that the number of coronavirus cases in Scotland had soared to 322 – with no more deaths since yesterday.

It means cases have gone up by 56 in the last 24 hours.

You can check out Edinburgh Zoo’s animalcams here.


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