Denver Zoo and Denver Botanic Gardens Shut Down Temporarily

Tonks has been living in a box under the close supervision of Denver Zoo staff.EXPAND
Tonks has been living in a box under the close supervision of Denver Zoo staff.
Denver Zoo
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They were the last major holdouts, but the Denver Zoo and the Denver Botanic Gardens announced today that they are shutting down in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The other big Scientific and Cultural Facilities District institutions — the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science — had already announced their temporary closures last week.

The Denver Botanic Gardens, which had already closed its inside facilities and was only allowing visitors on the grounds, announced its complete closure in an online statement: "We have been following all federal, state and local recommendations and closely monitoring updates through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) related to COVID-19. At the request of the City and County of Denver and the State of Colorado, we have closed all Denver Botanic Gardens locations indefinitely."

The zoo's decision is also based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the State of Colorado, which has banned public gatherings of fifty or more people. Here's the zoo's full statement:

Based on updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of Colorado restricting public gatherings of 50 or more people, Denver Zoo will close to the public at 4 p.m. today. All scheduled events and programs, including spring break camps, Up-Close Animal Encounters and community outreach programs, will be cancelled or rescheduled to a later date. The Zoo will continue to assess the situation, and reopen and resume normal operations at the appropriate time.

Denver Zoo is electing to close out of an abundance of caution and to do its part to help protect the community from further spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Starting on Tuesday, March 17, the Zoo will enact new operational procedures that will close its gates to guests, but enable its operations staff to continue to work onsite to provide vital care to its nearly 3,000 animals and infrastructure. This includes the Zoo’s dedicated caretakers, nutrition specialists and veterinarians, who will continue to provide the highest standards of professional care and welfare for all animals onsite.

The Zoo invites the community to continue to experience, explore and learn about wild animals online through its website and social media channels — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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