BAMZ closes part of zoo area to protect animals from Covid
Part of the zoo area at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum, and Zoo has been closed to the public to protect certain animals that are susceptible to corona viruses.
Dr Ian Walker, Principal Curator, said: “Unfortunately, BAMZ still faces the same concerns in regards to ensuring the health and welfare of our animals, as we did when the facility closed to the public previously.
“Despite a large proportion of our staff now being vaccinated, we still wish to protect vulnerable animal populations from exposure to the virus during this current outbreak.
“We apologize to our loyal patrons and ask for their understanding at this time as this action is being taken for the safety of the animals, members of the public who visit the zoo, and animal care staff.
“We look forward to opening the zoo portion of the BAMZ and welcoming the public back as soon as we are safely able to do so.”
Dr Walker added: “The species that we have the most concern for are our fruit bats, ring-tailed lemurs, golden lion tamarin monkeys and Asian small-clawed otters, especially in our walk-through exhibits.
“Coronaviruses are known to ordinarily infect and cause a range of disease in non-human animals.
“However, we still do not have enough information to know how this novel coronavirus and the emerging variants will affect the different exotic species in our care.
“Multiple zoos globally have reported symptomatic animals that have tested positive for Covid-19. Very recent variants have been shown to cause severe inflamation of the heart muscle of both dogs and cats – no information is yet available on exotic species.
“The BAMZ has taken a cautious approach to the pandemic from the start to protect the endangered animals in our care and also to prevent potential reservoirs of the virus from occurring.
“Ordinarily, we are open 364 days per year and pride ourselves of being a safe haven for families.
“Closing BAMZ or portions of the facility is not a step we take lightly but we feel that we must protect our animal collection and provide the best possible care for them.
“At the start of the pandemic we wanted to protect both our staff and the animals. Human health always come first but it is linked very closely to the welfare and health of our animals.
“As more of our staff are vaccinated, we are moving to reduce the risk to our animal populations when we have surges in community cases which is why we are closing just the zoo portion now.”
The part closure started yesterday and will continue for three weeks. The aquarium, museum, and gardens will remain open. However, the aquarium hall and other indoor spaces at the facility are limited to a maximum of ten people at any one time for everybody’s safety.
The public is encouraged to book prior to their visit. Bookings can be made at https://bit.ly/3vN6iax. Each 30-minute space has been limited to ten people entering the facility.