Auckland Zoo closes to visitors

 On the advice of Government and healthcare experts, who have now moved New Zealand to ‘Alert Level 3’ in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Auckland Zoo is closing to visitors as of tomorrow 24 March, and will remain closed until experts advise it is safe to open again.

Although we are closed to our community for now, our passionate and dedicated staff are still working hard to ensure that our animals receive the same high levels of care that they always enjoy.

 Staff whose role does not extend to caring for the animals and our facilities, are also hard at work, busy developing new and exciting initiatives so that we can continue to share our love for wildlife and wild places and bring the Zoo to you, from the safety of your homes. Thanks to today’s amazing technology – where ever you are – we can still bring you a great Zoo experience and we can all still come together to build a future for wildlife – for the benefit of all – animals, people and our precious environment.

 As part of Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA), Auckland Zoo is continuing to work closely with RFA and Auckland Council to follow Ministry of Health Guidelines and respond to and implement all measures issued by central Government to the contain the spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand.

If you can’t come to us, then we’ll bring the Zoo to you. Look out for our latest news, content, activities and conservation education programmes on our social media channels and website.  #ClosedButStillCaring  

Our thanks for your support, and kia kaha

Auckland Zoo is a not-for-profit wildlife conservation science organisation, passionate about its mission to ‘bring people together to build a future for wildlife’, and we are dependent on community support.

Nga mihi nui (our thanks) to everyone – our Zoo whanau, our much-valued community of visitors that we consider our friends, and all our partners. In working together, we can help keep everyone safe during this unprecedented time. Kia kaha (stay strong) and our aroha to you all.

Q&As

On the advice of Government and healthcare experts, who have now moved New Zealand to ‘Alert Level 3’ for Covid-19 (and will move to ‘Alert Level 4’ from 25 March), Auckland Zoo is closing to visitors from tomorrow, Tuesday 24 March, and will remain closed until experts advise it is safe to open again.

As part of Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA), Auckland Zoo is continuing to work closely with RFA and Auckland Council to follow Ministry of Health Guidelines and respond to and implement all measures issued by central Government to the contain the spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand.

Although we are closed to visitors, our passionate and dedicated staff are still here on site at the Zoo - working hard to ensure that our animals receive the same high levels of care that they always enjoy.

Staff whose role does not extend to caring for the animals and our facilities, are also hard at work, busy developing new and exciting initiatives so that we can continue to share our love for wildlife and wild places and bring the Zoo to you, from the safety of your homes. Thanks to today’s amazing technology, wherever you are, we can still bring you a great Zoo experience and we can all still come together to build a future for wildlife – for the benefit of all – animals, people and our precious environment.

At this point, we cannot reliably say how long the Zoo will remain closed. We will be reviewing the situation on an ongoing basis and will take the advice of the Government and Ministry of Health. Please check our website for more information which we will keep updated regularly.

Your support means the world to us – and the animals that we care for here at the Zoo and in the wild. As you can’t visit us at present, we would like to offer you an additional month of membership free of charge. If we are asked to remain closed for more than a month, then we’ll review this again and will be in touch.

You don’t need to contact us to receive this additional month of membership as we’ll change your end-date automatically. If your membership is due for renewal while we are closed, then we sincerely hope you consider continuing to support the Zoo, even if you can’t visit for the time being.

If you do have any other specific questions then please email membership@aucklandzoo.co.nz and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

We greatly value our incredible whanau of volunteers who play such an important role engaging with you, our visitors, and helping Zoo staff. But due to this unprecedented situation, we have suspended our Volunteer Programme until further notice.

With respect to Zoo Staff, we have many measures in place to keep our staff safe and minimise their risk to each other.  This includes minimising staff to staff contact, stepping up hygiene measures within all working environments across the Zoo, and having Zoo staff that are not directly involved in caring for our animals or involved in the essential operational running of our Zoo, working from home.

COVID-19 is a brand-new strain of coronavirus and global experts currently know very little about it in humans, let alone animals at this point. Coronaviruses have always been a part of animal biology and occur naturally in all sorts of different species. Our own vets and keepers are monitoring the very latest research and evidence to help understand how this new virus acts in animals. We are, of course, taking every precaution for visitors, our wider community, staff and animals.  Our expert teams have always had a strict set of biosecurity measures in place given that we’re home to so many rare and precious species, and our staff will continue to ensure that the animals enjoy the exact same levels of care and attention they receive all year round.

Protecting our primate species: In addition to the usual high levels of care and hygiene practiced with our primate species, we have implemented extra precautionary biosecurity protocols to further protect them. This involves our specialist staff caring for these species wearing PPE - face masks, and gloves – at all times they are in close proximity. With respect to our primates’ safety from visitors - all of our primate habitats are outdoors and designed to ensure these animals are at a safe and significant distance from visitors. 

Global experts are still working to understand more about novel coronavirus Covid-19. The current understanding is that the virus was transferred to humans largely due to animals caught and traded illegally. However, the precautions and strict set of biosecurity measures that we have always had in place to protect our staff, visitors and the precious animals we care for means that there is minimal risk posed by the animals at Auckland Zoo to our staff.

It’s an extremely busy time for us at the moment, and we understand the frustration that you might feel if you are trying to speak to someone on the phone but cannot get through. For this reason, we ask that all visitor enquiries are sent by email to info@aucklandzoo.co.nz.  The team is responding to those queries every day and someone will get back to you as soon as they possibly can.

Auckland Zoo is part of Regional Facilities Auckland, a Council Controlled Organisation. The Zoo and RFA are discussing the implications of closure with our funders and stakeholders and are currently satisfied that the Zoo will continue operating as normal – albeit closed to visitors – with support from Auckland Council.

There are lots of ways you can support the Zoo and all the amazing conservation work we are continuing to do while we’re closed to you, our much-valued visitors.

Purchase a membership >

Our Annual Pass memberships are the best way to support Auckland Zoo on an ongoing basis. They help fund the amazing care we provide the animals here at the Zoo, as well as contributing to all of our Wild Work – helping threatened wildlife in the wild – be that breeding native species for release to safe places in the wild, or working directly in the wild, monitoring and surveying species, helping restore habitats or providing essential health care to critically endangered species like kākāpō and takahē.

Donate here >

As a not-for-profit wildlife conservation science organisation, Auckland Zoo is a charity that is heavily reliant on the hundreds of thousands of wonderful wildlife-loving people who visit us each year, to help fund our daily operations.  Every day we have over 1400 hungry mouths to feed – from big cats to baboons, kiwi to kea, elephants to long-finned eels and many more!  While it’s not possible to visit us at this time – we’d so appreciate any support you can offer – no matter how small!  

You can also donate to our Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund – supporting our conservation efforts in the wild – financial and practical support that’s making a hugely positive difference – for our precious native species here in Aotearoa, and for exotic species and their habitats all across the globe. Learn more here >