Health is always a priority at the Utica Zoo; healthy animals, healthy visitors, and healthy staff. With the ongoing novel coronavirus ( COVID-19) outbreak, we are closely monitoring and assessing the situation.
UPDATE-March 20, 2020-The Utica Zoo will be closed until further notice. All on grounds and off grounds events have been postponed through May 15th. We have a core team of dedicated animal care professionals on grounds continuing to provide top-level animal care to our animals. All of our animals are healthy and well-cared for. We also have a core team of maintenance personnel on grounds continuously cleaning and sanitizing our grounds and facilities to ensure there is no spread of the virus. Continue to monitor our Facebook page for updates.
As of March 14, 2020, the Utica Zoo is taking the current steps:
As a precautionary measure and in an effort to protect the health and safety of our animals, visitors, volunteers and staff, effective on Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 5pm, the Utica Zoo will be closing to the public to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
The Utica Zoo will remain closed to the public until at least Tuesday, March 31st. For the next two weeks, all Utica Zoo’s programming and activities will be canceled. We are keenly aware of the effects the closure may have on existing plans to visit the zoo. We ask for your patience as our staff reaches out to guests regarding canceled programming. We have made this decision out of an abundance of caution and we believe it is our ethical responsibility to adhere to the scientific community’s recommendations.
During this period, our core team of animal care professionals will continue to provide our animals with the highest quality of care. We have a surplus of food, medical supplies, and additional resources on hand to ensure that all animals in our care will continue to be healthy and comfortable.
We will continue to follow to guidance from local and state officials as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as we evaluate our plans to re-open in the future.
All of our animals are healthy and being cared for as usual. Currently, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted to animals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no reason to think that animals in the United States, including animals in human care or wildlife, might be a source of infection with the current coronavirus. The Utica Zoo has always had strict practices in place to prevent the transmission of any disease-inducing viruses between humans and animals. We are actively monitoring all developments and recommendations associated with coronavirus and animals in human care. We have procured extra food and supplements as needed and will continue to work with our partners to ensure our animals and their care are not disrupted and will prepare contingencies and proactively monitor our supply chain to assure essentials remain on hand through the coming months.
We are cleaning and sanitizing often touched surfaces on a regular basis. This includes doorknobs, door handles, handrails, counters, desks, phones, radios, exhibit spaces, and restrooms.
We are monitoring the actions taken by other Zoos and Aquariums to ensure we are following all best practices and any new developments from our AZA partners. AZA has also been updating communications with best practices for dealing with the outbreak.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been providing consistent updates for best practices in the workplace and at home, and we are continuing to monitor these updates and taking appropriate action.