The Zoo is reopening, but we could still use your help! Please consider making a donation to the Zoo’s Emergency Operating Fund to help offset the expected revenue loss and provide vital funds for necessary operating expenses for animal care during this difficult, and unprecedented, time.
As part of Florida’s Phase 1 reopening of the state, following federal and local guidelines, the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens will be reopening to the public on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 10 AM. Zoo operations will be modified until further notice to ensure the safety of Zoo visitors, annual pass holders, staff, and animals. Online timed tickets required for all guests, to ensure safe and comfortable capacity and limited contact admissions. For more information about the Zoo’s operating modifications, please visit our reopening page.
Since closing on March 14th, the Zoo’s animal care staff have been taking precautions to minimize exposure to staff and animals by wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), continuing to practice good hygiene, and social distancing.
Out of an abundance of caution, we are following recommendations by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to maintain the health of the animals in our care, while also safeguarding our animal care staff following the positive coronavirus test of tigers at the Bronx Zoo.
While we do not have the species of animal at our facility that was involved in the positive test results, the Zoo has implemented additional protective measures for keepers working with felines including wearing gloves, masks, social distancing, and limiting training activities.
Additionally, the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens has a full time veterinary staff that are monitoring the health of the animals in our care.
The Zoo will continue to follow this developing situation and review and modify protocols as needed.
Based on the recommendation of the Seminole County Office of Emergency Management, the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, along with all of its offerings—including Seminole Aerial Adventures—will be closed until at least April 15, 2020. This date is subject to change, based on information provided by authorities.
Unfortunately, this mandate has forced the cancellation of all events and education programs, scheduled to take place at the Zoo, through April 2020.
We will monitor the ever-changing situation while maintaining close contact with government authorities, and we will provide additional communication if current conditions change.
Based on the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Florida Department of Health, and in close consultation with the Seminole County Office of Emergency Management, the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, along with all of its offerings—including Seminole Aerial Adventures—will be closed until further notice.
The rapidly changing nature of the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) within our community has warranted this action to protect the health of our visitors, volunteers, and staff. While we remain hopeful that we will be able to reopen at the end of March, we will continue to follow the direction of federal, state, and local officials. We will announce a date for resuming operations through our website and social media channels.
Spring Break camps and other activities, scheduled at the Zoo through March, have been suspended. If your child is registered for Spring Break Camp, beginning on Monday, March 16, you will be contacted by a member of the Zoo’s Education team staff in the coming days. Additionally, if you have registered for an event or program, please know that someone from the Zoo will be reaching out this upcoming week to assist you.
The animals in our care are doing well, and our animal care staff will continue to work as normal, providing them with dedicated, professional care.
We truly appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding during this time.
We recognize the heightened concern that is present in the community around the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19. As always, the health and safety of Zoo guests, staff, volunteers, and animals is our highest priority. We continue to actively monitor the latest information from local, state, and federal health officials.
Following the interim guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Seminole County Office of Emergency Management, and in close consultation with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), we have instituted a series of precautionary and preventative measures.
We are taking action to enhance our already-robust cleaning procedures by disinfecting high-touch areas, multiple times throughout the day. This includes disinfecting all surface touch points, such as doorknobs and handles in all buildings, restrooms, common areas, the carousel, Seminole Aerial Adventures, the Zoofari Outpost Gift Shop, and Sonny’s Q’ at the Zoo.
It is important to note that the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens remains open and all events and programs will continue as scheduled.
In addition to existing hand washing and hand sanitizing stations located throughout the Zoo, an additional eight (8) antibacterial hand sanitizer dispensers have been placed at key exit and entry points, in partnership with Orlando Health. Guests will also see additional signage throughout the Zoo to promote hand washing and encourage hygiene best practices.
Currently, we do not have any indication that this virus is of concern to any of our Zoo animals. There is no evidence that the animals in our professional care are at risk of contracting COVID-19 from people. We are preparing contingencies for animal food and medical supplies and are proactively monitoring our supply chain and working with vendors to ensure essentials remain on hand.
The Zoo’s leadership is following situation closely and remain in contact with Seminole County Office of Emergency Management and AZA. We are reinforcing plans that would allow us to maintain operations and continue to provide quality care to our animals, even under potentially strained circumstances.
We will communicate any changes to our plans and protocols as this situation develops in our community. We encourage you to stay up to date on official resources available including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Florida Department of Health for your county.