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Virginia Zoo closes for 2 weeks, cancels programs, tours, events

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Posted at 11:14 AM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 11:15:00-04

NORFOLK, Va. - The Virginia Zoo will be closed for two weeks beginning Monday, March 16 to ensure the safety and well-being of its guests, staff and animals amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

According to a statement by the Zoo, it will operate under normal conditions Friday and will observe "modified operating" conditions Saturday and Sunday, which will include closure of close contact areas like the World of Reptiles and the gift shop. All birthday parties, Behind the Scenes tours, Snoozes and programs will be canceled Saturday and Sunday.

Any programs, tours or events scheduled between March 16 and March 30 have been canceled. The Zoo said that every effort will be made to reschedule or offer flexible cancellation options.

"Animals are at the heart of everything we do. There is currently no hard evidence about the spread of coronavirus from humans to animals, however our Animal Care Staff and Veterinary Team are monitoring the situation and what precautious might be required for contact between the public, staff and animals," the Zoo said in a statement. "We want to assure the public that our animals are healthy and we will continue to provide them with dedicated care. The Zoo has sufficient food, medical supplies and essentials for our animals."

Zoo staff and Norfolk city officials will reevaluate the Zoo's closure at the end of the month.

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