Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park will temporarily close their doors to visitors from 5pm today (25 March 2020) in response to the evolving COVID-19 situation.
Adelaide Zoo was established in 1883 and this is the first time in our 137-year history we have closed indefinitely. Key staff will continue to work across both sites to ensure the wellbeing and welfare of the animals.
Zoos SA released the following letter from Zoos SA Chief Executive Elaine Bensted announcing the closure:
Due to the government’s aims to minimise social gatherings and non-essential activity, we’ve made the heart-breaking decision to close Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park to the public from 5pm today onwards.
I use the word heart-breaking because we know how important a visit to Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park is for many. We understand that both sites hold a special place in many people’s hearts and that our animals, staff and volunteers have put a smile on the faces of South Australians for hundreds of years. This is the first time in our 137-year history that we’ve had to close for the foreseeable future.
There’s no denying we’re facing the unknown. As a conservation charity, the vast majority of our revenue comes from our visitors so closure will have an enormous impact. But, one thing I am sure of, is that while COVID-19 tries its best to stop us in our tracks, it cannot and will not stop us from our mission to save animals from extinction. Our mission is far too important and too urgent.
Closure does not mean everything will stop – far from it. We will still be here, looking after our animals and our beloved sites with absolute dedication. Many of our keepers and veterinarians will carry on their excellent work as usual. Sadly, there will be some stand-downs from our passionate workforce until we can re-open. We’re not alone in this and it’s incredibly tough.
To our loyal supporters, thank you. While many visitors have chosen to stay away in recent weeks, we are pleased and very grateful to say that there are some who have continued to visit and support us.
To our members, you are like family and your ongoing support means the world – we know many of you are doing it tough right now and now, more than ever, we appreciate your support. We will have further information about what this means for your membership and will be in touch with you all directly in the coming days. We don’t want anyone to lose out.
To all of you who have purchased tickets or behind-the-scenes animal experiences, please rest assured that we will re-organise your experience and look forward to welcoming you soon.
This decision has the full backing of our highly experienced board who will help us navigate this tough time. Please be assured that we are in constant communication with our insurer, our bank and the South Australian Government, and are doing everything we can to ensure our ongoing viability.
Happiness and hope is a much-needed commodity right now, and that’s why, during our closure, it’s our aim to bring the zoo to you online! We hope our content will bring a smile to your face, provide some comfort and a little happiness during these unprecedented times. So if you’re not following us already, you can find us on Facebook using @AdelaideZoo and @MonartoSafari and on Instagram using @zoossa.
Finally, please know that we are already counting down the days until we can open our gates to the public again and I look forward to seeing a big line up out the front. When that happens, we will all be there to welcome you back in with open arms.
While these current times are extremely difficult, your continued support and that of our community will help us pull through.
Please take care and I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well.
For the latest information, please visit: https://www.zoossa.com.au/covid-19/