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Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Garden temporarily closes amid coronavirus concerns

Zoo in Sanford closed to public effective immediately

File image courtesy of the Central Florida Zoo.
File image courtesy of the Central Florida Zoo.

SANFORD, Fla. – The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is temporarily closing to the public amid concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Zoo officials said the closure, effective immediately, is based on the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Florida Department of Health and in close consultation with the Seminole County Office of Emergency Management.

"The health and safety of zoo guests, staff, volunteers and animals is our highest priority," said the zoo's CEO, Dino Ferri. "We are actively working with federal, state and county officials, and are hopeful that we can reopen to the public by the end of March."

Zoo officials said camps, events and other activities scheduled at the zoo through the remainder of March have been suspended. All registrants will be contacted by a member of the zoo's staff in the coming days.

“The animals in the zoo’s care are doing well, and the keeper, veterinary and animal nutrition teams will continue to work as normal to meet their needs,” the zoo said in a release.

Zoo officials said changes in operations will be announced through the zoo’s social media platforms and website here.