March 17, 2020

Coronavirus update from Jersey Zoo

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MONDAY 23 MARCH UPDATE
Sadly, due to the developing situation surrounding coronavirus and the Government’s latest advice on social distancing, Jersey Zoo will be closed from tomorrow, Tuesday 24 March, until further notice. This has been a very difficult decision, but, as always the safety and welfare of our visitors, animals and staff are our top priority so, unfortunately, closing our gates is the only option to reduce the spread of COVID-19. During this unsettling time, our dedicated team of keepers, vets and other direct support staff will ensure that all our animals continue to receive the very best care and we will endeavour to keep our loyal members, visitors and supporters updated on news from the zoo and our projects around the world. We understand these are uncertain times for everyone and we are so grateful for the continued support of our members, visitors, adopters and donors. As a charity, we rely solely on this support to look after over 1,000 animals here at Jersey Zoo and to continue our vital conservation work protecting the planet’s most precious ecosystems and wildlife.

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FRIDAY 20 MARCH UPDATE
At this time Jersey Zoo remains open, however, as of Saturday 21 March all of the indoor exhibits will be closed to the public to ensure the safety of visitors, animals and staff. Areas affected by this include the Reptile and Amphibian House, Butterfly Kaleidoscope, Island Bat Roost, Gerald Durrell Story and the indoor spaces at the bear, gorilla and orangutan enclosures. Currently, all hand-washing and toilet facilities remain open. Both Café Firefly and Café Dodo now have a reduced menu and will serve only takeaway options. We have removed the tables from the indoor areas, however, we have tables set up in the outdoor areas, allowing visitors to still enjoy the zoo in a safe manner. The Durrell Charity Shop is closed until further notice. We will keep our members and visitors updated on any changes.

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TUESDAY 17 MARCH UPDATE
Jersey Zoo is currently open with visiting hours remaining the same. However, Durrell members and visitors will be notified of any changes. The zoo has been closely monitoring the situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) and following the recommended guidelines provided by the States of Jersey Government.

The safety and welfare of the animals, visitors and staff are always a top priority at Jersey Zoo. Therefore the daily Keeper Talks have been cancelled until further notice, the children’s indoor play area is now closed and, in order to protect animals and staff, the animal experiences involving gorillas, orangutans and bats will be rescheduled.

There are several hand-washing locations around the zoo, including the Durrell Discovery Centre, Café Firefly and Café Dodo, which are regularly cleaned to ensure the safety of visitors, staff and animals. During this time of heightened concern on the island, these practices have been increased.

Spending time in the spacious, natural grounds of the zoo is relatively low-risk, and it is beneficial for your physical and mental health to be outdoors surrounded by wildlife. Just remember to keep washing your hands regularly during your visit. But if you are experiencing symptoms of the illness, please refrain from visiting the zoo until you have recovered.

Sadly, Durrell has had to make the difficult decision to cancel or postpone all zoo events until the end of May. Cancelled events include the Members’ Day, Wild Easter Weekend and Love Your Zoo Week, and postponed events include the Durrell Challenge and Really Wild Day.

The new date for the Durrell Challenge and Really wild Day is 27th September 2020. All runners who have already registered for the Durrell Challenge 2020 will automatically have their entries deferred to the new date, and the event team will be in contact with all entrants over the next few weeks to share details of the registration process.

For overseas runners, the Durrell Challenge team plan to introduce a virtual run in the case that you are not able to visit Jersey in September. Full details will be shared in the near future.

For Durrell Challenge VIPs and fundraisers, Durrell kindly asks that you continue with your incredible fundraising efforts as the Trust’s work does not stop during this global pandemic. The spread of coronavirus is thought to have started in wildlife markets, which exacerbate the spread of diseases between animals and people. The planet, and the species we all share it with, is under threat and wildlife markets and the illegal wildlife trade are only increasing these pressures. Durrell’s work protecting habitats and endangered species has never been more vital.

The Durrell Challenge team will be contacting each VIP runner shortly to update on plans for the new event date. The Really Wild Day and Wild Quest have also been postponed, but tickets that have been pre-purchased will be valid for the new date of 27th September 2020.


FAQs:

What is Jersey Zoo doing to minimise the risk to visitors, staff and animals?

Sadly, due to the developing situation surrounding coronavirus and the Government’s latest advice on social distancing, Jersey Zoo will be closed from Tuesday 24 March 2020 until further notice. As always, the safety and welfare of our visitors, animals and staff are our top priority so, unfortunately, closing our gates is the only option to reduce the spread of COVID-19. During this unsettling time, our dedicated team of keepers, vets and other direct support staff will ensure that all our animals continue to receive the very best care.

Can the animals contract the virus? What are you doing to protect them?

As a brand new strain of coronavirus, global experts currently do not know all of the effects COVID-19 has on humans and animals. We have been closely monitoring the situation and following the recommended guidelines provided by the States of Jersey Government and World Health Organisation (WHO), and Durrell staff have been keeping an eye on the latest research and evidence with the aim of trying to understand how the virus may affect animals. Our expert team of keepers, scientists, vets and conservationists are taking every precaution to ensure the safety of all animals and staff at the zoo, and strict biosecurity measures are in place (and have been for a very long time!). During this difficult time, our dedicated team continues to ensure that all animals under their care enjoy the same amount of love and attention that they are used to receiving all year round.

I am a Durrell member, what does the zoo closure mean for my membership?

As a charity, our family of loyal members is so important to us. Your continued support is more vital now than ever.

Through your membership, you are helping to ensure that the animals at Jersey Zoo continue to receive the same level of expert care they have all year round from our dedicated team of keepers, vets and support staff. Our charity relies solely on the support of our members, visitors, donors and adopters to look after over 1,000 animals at the zoo and to continue our vital conservation work protecting the world’s most precious ecosystems and wildlife. We greatly appreciate you continuing your membership during these challenging times.

We will be sure to keep you updated on how your donation is helping both at Jersey Zoo and at our rewilding sites around the world. We still aim to provide you with your exclusive members’ magazine, Wild Life, and will keep you updated and entertained via our eNewsletters and social media channels. If you have any questions about your membership, please email supportercare@durrell.org. Thank you so much for your support and understanding.

I have an event booked at the zoo, can I reschedule?

Jersey Zoo is now closed until further notice. If you have any questions about your event, please email events@durrell.org and a member of the team will get back to you as soon as possible.

I have an animal experience booked at the zoo, can I reschedule?

Jersey Zoo is now closed and all pre-booked animal experiences will need to be rescheduled. If you have any questions about your experience, please contact the team on experiences@durrell.org.

Can I still recycle my aluminium cans at the zoo?

With the zoo currently closed, we have had to remove our can recycling area in the car park. This will return when the zoo reopens.

How can I support Durrell during these difficult times?

As a charity that works tirelessly to recover threatened wildlife, revive damaged ecosystems, and reconnect people to the natural world, we rely hugely on the support of our members, donors, adopters and zoo visitors.
Durrell’s work does not stop during this global pandemic. With over 1,000 animals to care for at our zoo and global conservation projects to continue running, we have never needed our supporters more than we do right now. We understand these are uncertain times for everyone and we are so grateful for any support you can give, no matter how big or small – it all contributes towards the care of our animals and upkeep of our zoo during these challenging times.
If you would like to help, please donate here or adopt an animal here. Thank you.

Have another question?

Please contact us on info@durrell.org if you have any further questions. Or for more information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) in Jersey, please visit www.gov.je/health/coronavirus

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