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Coronavirus: Peterborough zoo, amenities remain closed as disc golf course opens

The Riverview Park and Zoo in Peterborough will remain closed amid the coronavirus pandemic. Greg Davis/Global News Peterborough

The municipally run Riverview Park and Zoo in Peterborough, Ont., and its facilities and amenities will remain closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday, the zoo said its Water Street location, playground, splash pad, washrooms, train ride, picnic shelters, facility rentals and more will remain closed despite the reopening of many businesses on Friday as part of Phase 2 of the province’s reopening plan.

The zoo, which is open year-round, closed on March 14 as a precaution.

READ MORE: Peterborough Riverview Park and Zoo closing to public in response to COVID-19 concerns

“Our first priority is safety,” the zoo said. “We look forward to being able to open again once we’re able to do so in a manner that ensures the safety of the public and staff, as well as safeguarding the well-being of the animals in our care. Rest assured that in the meantime, our animals continue to receive excellent care from our team of dedicated staff.”

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The zoo says it is consistently monitoring public health recommendations and best practices from Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums and assessing the impact to the zoo staff, animals and visitors.

“As restrictions loosen across the province and City of Peterborough, and at each phased and measured step, we must consider our unique situation and commitment to the health of the animals and staff as we develop reopening strategies,” the zoo said.

The zoo’s essential staff are currently caring for more than 140 animals and 30 exhibits along with the grounds and facilities. The zoo, which offers free admission, attracts more than 250,000 visitors during its peak season.

“Temporary closure means we are missing critical revenue from train tickets, gift shop, food sales, programming fees, facility rentals and donations,” the zoo said. “These limited resources mean that we must continue to focus on what is most important, caring for the animals that live here and protecting the staff who keep them safe. This year has been tough for everyone.”

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The zoo says donations are being accepted and can be made online.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Peterborough patio inspections will be on ‘as needed basis’

The disc golf course also on the site is open for limited use to players who follow all the safety precautions and strict guidelines. The zoo is working closely with the Peterborough Disc Golf Club to monitor the course.

Open park trails can be used for walk-through traffic only in the allowed group size of fewer than 10 people while practising physical distancing and staying at least two metres apart from people outside of your household.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus:  Zoos and the struggle to survive during the pandemic' Coronavirus: Zoos and the struggle to survive during the pandemic
Coronavirus: Zoos and the struggle to survive during the pandemic – May 24, 2020

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