TAMPA, Fla. — ZooTampa at Lowry Park is temporarily closing amid coronavirus concerns.
Zoo officials said starting on Monday, they will close through March 29.
For the past several weeks, ZooTampa has been closely monitoring the unprecedented and rapidly changing COVID19/coronavirus situation and taking extra precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of our guests, employees and animals. In consultation with City of Tampa officials and following the recommendations from Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, ZooTampa will be temporarily closed starting Monday, March 16th through Sunday, March 29th.
On Sunday, the zoo was open and guests headed to the entrance to enjoy time with their children.
"Obviously, we're washing our hands more often and using sanitizer when you can't wash your hands and not touching your face, all the common sense stuff," said Sean Romer.
Sean Romer took his two children to the zoo and his son was excited to see the alligators.
"Still have to do what you need to do and have fun and enjoy life. Every day is a blessing," he said. "Our oldest daughter was an oncology patient, so we know disease and compromised immune systems. It's always been part of our life anyway so sanitizing, hand washing, typical hygiene has always been a high priority."
A letter from our CEO,
At ZooTampa we are a family of employees, volunteers, supporters, members, guests and of course, our wildlife; consequently, everyone’s well-being is and always has been our foremost priority.
— ZooTampa at Lowry Park (@ZooTampa) March 13, 2020
Store parking lots were packed on Sunday as customers tell us they are doing their typical shopping.
"We actually just moved into a new place so we're just trying to get some things that we're going to need. We just got a microwave," said Sarah Bouman.
Bouman said aisles carrying cleaning supplies were still bare, but they did get one package of toilet paper.
"People are buying all of the toilet paper and stuff, but nobody needs that much," she laughed.
"They were just unloading it and handing it to people and they were grabbing it. I had to wait in a line," said Bouman's friend, Michaela Weimer.
"Of course it's scary with this going on, but worldwide panic isn't going to help anyone....kind of need to do what you need to do until it rolls over, I guess," said Weimer.