Mon 23 March, 2020
In light of the elevation of the COVID-19 alert to level 3 now, and level 4 in 48 hours, Wellington Zoo will be temporarily closing immediately.
The health and safety of our staff, volunteers, visitors and animals is our top priority. We will continue to do all we can to look after our staff and animals. We have plenty of supplies for our animals and essential Animal Care, Nutrition and Veterinary staff will continue to provide the excellent care for our animals as always.
Kia kaha everyone, we really appreciate the support and love of our Wellington Zoo community during this tough time. Please look after yourselves and each other.
Wellington Zoo is still open. However as of Sunday 22 March, we will be suspending all visitor programming including Close Encounters, animal talks, learning sessions, sleepovers, birthday safaris, and functions and venue hire, until further notice. We will also stop accepting cash, so if you are visiting please make sure you have your cards with you. We want to help slow the spread, and the health of our visitors, staff, animals and our wider community is our highest priority and we thank you for your understanding and patience at this time.
As an outdoor space we encourage you to keep visiting the Zoo. As long as you are feeling healthy and well and are not in self-isolation, it’s a great chance to get outside and spend some time with our amazing animals. We need your support now more than ever and hope to see you soon.
If you have an existing booking we’ll be in touch with you, or you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will aim to respond as soon as we are able.
What is Wellington Zoo doing about COVID-19?
Wellington Zoo is currently closed to the community but we are still taking excellent care for the animals and our staff. We will continue to follow the advice from the Ministry of Health on when we will re-open.
Our Animal Care and Science staff are considered to be essential workers and have split into two teams across our animal sections for the next four weeks. This will ensure that Zoo staff minimise contact within their own teams and other teams.
The Zoo has ongoing protocols in place for Animal Care and Science staff who work with our animals and we mitigate the risk of Zoonotic disease transfer with best practice which is already implemented in day to day practice. This includes the Zoo providing staff with annual flu vaccinations, staff practicing good hand hygiene and encouraging staff to stay home if they are unwell.
All other Zoo staff are currently working from home.
What is the impact on Zoo animals?
At this stage many of the Zoo animals may not have noticed that there are no visitors, however we will be monitoring individual behaviours closely for any changes. The animals' routines are still the same, the only difference is that there aren't any visitors.
We don’t know for sure if coronavirus will impact the animals as there is no data specific related to COVID-19. However we know that chimpanzees and other primates can be susceptible to human common colds and the ‘flu and we already have protocols in place to mitigate this risk.
Now that the Zoo is closed, is The Nest Te Kōhanga still open to receive injured wildlife?
Due to the latest COVID-19 alert moving to level 4, we will be unable to admit any native wildlife patients into our care during this time at The Nest Te Kōhanga.
If you have found an injured animal please call The Department of Conservation (DoC) on 0800 362 468 for native species, or SPCA on (04) 389 8044 for non-native species.
When will the Zoo re-open?
As the COVID-19 situation remains incredibly dynamic, we are monitoring this closely and we will keep you up to date with any information via our social media channels and on our website.
I have a booking at the Zoo - what happens next?
As the Zoo is currently closed to visitors, all bookings at the Zoo have been suspended. If you have a pre-purchased Zoo ticket, Close Encounter, Learning session, Holiday Programme session, Venue or Sleepover booked in the next 4 weeks, we will be in touch as soon as we can. We are only contacting those with bookings 1-3 days out as our team have a lot of bookings to get through.
We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.