Newsroom

Hurricane Irma Impacts the Zoo

9.30.2017, 4:00 p.m.

The Florida Trek is closed until further notice as a result of continued flooding.

 

9.26.2017, 10:30 a.m.

The train will not operate today.

Florida Trek, featuring our black bear and bald eagle habitats, remains closed due to flooding.

 

9.20.2017, 9:00 a.m.

Full power has been restored to our Admissions building. 

Florida Trek, featuring our black bear and bald eagle habitats, will be temporarily closed until flooding has receded. 

 

9.19.2017, 12:45 a.m.

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is open and operating normal business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
 
The Florida Trek Nature Walk is also closed and the Florida black bears and bald eagles will not be on habitat.  
 
All scheduled Garden Chats will be cancelled until further notice. Our Horticulture Team is hard at work repairing our gardens and removing debris. 
 

The Insect Zoo has reopened! Come inside to see our insects, arachnids, and more. The perfect opportunity for a break in the A/C! 

The train & carousel are currently not operating.

Clean up efforts throughout the Zoo property are still underway and we greatly appreciate your patience throughout this process.

 

9.15.2017, 8:00 a.m.

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is open and operating normal business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The train will be operating today and giraffe feedings will be available. Splash pad will be open normal hours, 10 a.m to 4 p.m., weather permitting.

ZOOm Air will reopen all courses with normal hours on Saturday, September 16.

The Insect Zoo will be closed until further notice. The bathrooms in this building will still be accessible. 

Our Horticulture Team, along with other departments in the Zoo, are working hard to clean up all of the debris and downed limbs throughout the property. All scheduled Garden Chats will be cancelled until further notice.

 

9.12.2017, 4:00 p.m.

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens will reopen on Wednesday, September 13, with normal hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. We are happy to report that all our animals are safe and sound. We did sustain some damage to our Insect Zoo (all animals are fine!) due to flooding, so this part of the building will be closed until further notice. The bathrooms in this building will still be accessible. 

The most extensive damage in the Zoo was to our Butterfly Garden and Health & Wellness Garden. The Garden Chats scheduled at these locations will be cancelled as our Horticulture Team works to return these gardens to their former glory. 

Some of our extra activities will still be closed: carousel, train, giraffe feedings. Please bear with us as we work to get these attractions back up. 

Splash pad will be open normal hours, 10 a.m to 4 p.m.

Jungle Grills concessions will have a limited menu for a short time. 

ZOOm Air will be closed until further notice while the assess any potential damage to their obstacles and ziplines.

 

9.12.2017, 8 a.m.

The Zoo will remain CLOSED today as we work to clean up major debris. Check our Facebook for pictures!

 

During the Storm: Hurricane Irma 2017 

Our Hurricane Ride-Out team safely stayed Saturday and Sunday night at the Zoo, and are very happy to report that all animals and staff made it through the storm safely. The Zoo will remain closed through Tuesday, September 12 as we work to clean debris and downed trees. 

Our 2017 Hurricane Irma Ride-Out Team: 6 animal care specialists (one from each department), 2 facilities staff members, veterinarian, Zoo Director, and curator. 

 

 

The Zoo definitely saw some flooding when this non-Zoo resident swam by!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.8.2017, 10:15 a.m.

Hurricane Irma prep at the Zoo is fully underway. While we are open on Friday, September 8, you will see our staff and volunteers working to prepare the Zoo for the incoming storm, including moving picnic tables, taking down shade structures, and placing sandbags along our buildings. Our train and carousel will stop running today at 2:00 p.m. so that we may prepare the areas for the storm. We are also getting everything in place so that on Saturday, September 9, all animals can be moved to safer locations efficiently and as stress-free as possible. Smaller animals will be moved indoors in kennels and larger animals will be moved into their night houses. 
 
Reminder: Zoo CLOSED Sat-Mon. We are currently unsure of when we will reopen, we will update following the storm. 
 
ZOOm Air: Admission ends on Friday, September 8, at 12:00 p.m. 
 
 

9.7.2017, 10:45 a.m.

Our team just met, and the Zoo will be CLOSED Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (September 9, 10, & 11). We have selected our hurricane ride-out team, who will be at the Zoo beginning Saturday afternoon/night. This team includes key members from keeper and facilities teams, our veterinarian, and our Zoo Director. Our entire Zoo team is working to prepare the Zoo by securing loose items and preparing extra animal diets. On Saturday, smaller mammals and birds will be brought into secure buildings in kennels. Larger animals will be moved into their normal night houses, which are built to withstand major storms. Our ride-out team will update when they are able throughout the weekend. At this time, we are unable to say when we will re-open, as that will depend on the extent of damage from the storm. We will update Facebook and our website. We thank you all for your concern for our animals, but please rest assured that all Florida zoos do our absolute best to prepare for hurricanes. Stay safe out there, Florida!
 
Sunset at the Zoo on 9.7.2017 is now CANCELLED. We want all Zoo staff and our guests to be sure they are prepping their own homes. Thank you for understanding. Join us at another upcoming Sunset at the Zoo: September 21 & 28, October 5 & 19.
 

At this time, Zoom Air will be open for admissions on Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for Upland and Kids' Courses only. No Big Zip upgrades, no Rainforest upgrades, and no Upland/Rainforest combos. We will be closed on Saturday-Monday and will evaluate damage and possible re-opening after the storm passes.

 

9.6.2017, 12:30 p.m.

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens staff are closely monitoring Hurricane Irma. We have a Crisis Management Plan for all disasters, and we are currently following our protocols for hurricane preparedness, including gathering sandbags, securing loose items, and preparing animal kennels. Please rest assured that we have a plan and are taking all the necessary precautions. As the storm moves closer and we have a better understanding of the impact it will have here, we will be able to announce any closures. Right now, we still have normal operating hours, and tomorrow night's Sunset at the Zoo will still take place. Thank you all for caring about our animals as much as we do!

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