Blank Park Zoo Issues Statements on Zoo Lights; Great Cats
For Immediate Release
DES MOINES, Iowa (April 6, 2020) – We want to thank everyone who participated in our social distance-friendly Zoo Lights: Scoop the Zoo Loop event last weekend. We also want to thank the hundreds of people that have donated to our emergency fund. The response has been overwhelming and touching.
Many people have requested more nights to this event and our original intention was to continue. However, we want to take seriously the information from authorities that this week is a crucial time to stay home. As a result, we will not have any Zoo Lights evenings this week. As the crisis continues, we will reassess this decision. Thank you for your understanding and we wish everyone health and safety at this time.
Great Cats and COVID-19
Many have inquired about the story of tigers testing positive for COVID-19 at the Bronx Zoo and are asking what Blank Park Zoo is doing. Currently, the great cats that live at Blank Park Zoo are in good health and show no symptoms.
Since before this crisis started, we have been reviewing and updating our protocols. Our protocols for primates, bats, ferrets, otters and now great cats include keepers wearing PPE (personal protection equipment) during meal preparation, animal interaction and training situations. We have increased social distancing protocols, decreased the amount of training interaction time and limited the number of employees who access the building to necessary staff only.
We are not preemptively testing lions and tigers for COVID-19. Testing would require anesthetizing the great cat, which carries risks, and at this time the animals are healthy and do not have symptoms.
About Blank Park Zoo
Blank Park Zoo, Iowa’s WILDEST Adventure, is closed through April 30. Admission rates are $14 for adults, $8 for children under 12, and $11 for seniors and active military. Children one year and under and Blank Park Zoo members are free. The Zoo is located at 7401 SW 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50315. Visit the Zoo online at http://www.blankparkzoo.com. The Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) The AZA is America’s leading accrediting organization that sets rigorous, professional standards for zoos and aquariums. The AZA is building North America's largest wildlife conservation movement by engaging and inspiring the 143 million annual visitors to its member institutions and their communities to care about and take action to help protect wildlife.