FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 16, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Saint Louis Zoo 314/781-0900
Billy Brennan, 314/646-4633, Brennan@stlzoo.org
Christy Childs, 314/646-4639, Childs@stlzoo.org
Mike De Pope, 314/646-4703, DePope@stlzoo.org

Saint Louis Zoo Closed to the Public until Further Notice

Today, the Saint Louis Zoo has announced a temporary closure to the public until further notice as a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). All public and private events as well as educational programs are canceled through April 3. All Breakfast with Bunny dates are canceled. The Zoo will determine plans to reopen closer to April.

"The Saint Louis Zoo is so much more than a tourist destination or local attraction with animals. For over 100 years, our mission essentially has been unchanged as we have been a leader at conserving animals and their habitats through animal management, research, recreation, and educational programs," said Jeffrey Bonner, Ph.D., Dana Brown President & CEO, Saint Louis Zoo. "We will not allow this global pandemic to stop us from continuing to fulfill our mission in the long run. For now, however, it is important that we do what we can to reduce the rapid spread of COVID-19."

Zoo Leadership has closely monitored the developments of the global outbreak of COVID-19. Following regular updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), as well as other federal, state and local authorities. Zoo Leadership also has been in regular communication with St. Louis City and St. Louis County health officials.

"The animals in our care are doing well and our animal care scientists and veterinarians have established procedures that protect the animals' health, keeping them safe from exposure to disease," said Dr. Bonner. "Although the COVID-19 virus may have originated from an animal source, in its current form, it is not yet known to cause disease in any animal species."

"On behalf of everyone at the Saint Louis Zoo, we appreciate your support and we are going to miss seeing you," said Dr. Bonner. "We encourage you to follow us on social media or on our blog to stay connected as we do our best to share stories and photos throughout the closure.

About the Saint Louis Zoo
Home to over 13,000 animals representing 555 species, the Saint Louis Zoo is recognized worldwide for its innovative approaches to animal care and management, wildlife conservation, research, and education. One of the few free zoos in the nation, the Saint Louis Zoo attracts approximately 3 million visitors annually and is the most-visited attraction in the region. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Saint Louis Zoo is part of an elite group of institutions that meet the highest standards in animal care as well as provide fun, safe and educational family experiences. The Saint Louis Zoo and the other AZA-accredited institutions collectively dedicate millions of dollars annually to support scientific research, conservation and education programs. For more information, visit stlzoo.org.

###

Q&A

How long will the Zoo stay closed?
On March 16, the Saint Louis Zoo announced a temporary closure to the public until further notice. All events (public and private) as well as educational programs are canceled through April 3. The Zoo will determine plans to reopen closer to April.

What will happen to the animals at the Zoo during the closure?
All animals will continue to receive dedicated and professional care by the animal care team.

Can I get a refund?
Program registrants will be contacted by the Saint Louis Zoo for canceled education programs, private events, tours, and other programs reserved during this temporary closure.

What are we doing to protect our animals from coronavirus?
Zoo animal care scientists and veterinarians have established procedures that protect the health of Zoo animals, and keep them safe from exposure to disease. Although the COVID-19 virus may have originated from an animal source, in its current form, it is not yet known to cause disease in any animal species.

##