As the closures and restrictions due to the current health crisis stretch past the four-month mark, many of us are longing to participate in the activities that bring us joy. The Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo prides itself on being an enriching, educational resource for our community.
As a spacious outdoor zoo, many people have expressed their hopes of visiting us soon so their families can see the animals they miss and enjoy nature. We understand that it may be unclear why we remain closed since we are an outdoor venue, so we wanted to offer insight on our decision to remain closed at this time.
Santa Fe College continues to consult daily with key health and emergency personnel and closely monitors guidance from federal, state and local health agencies including the CDC. Zoo staff communicate daily with our veterinarians at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine Zoological Medicine Service.
In determining our plans for re-opening we consider the advice of all of these experts. We also consider what is at stake and our responsibility to protect those that cannot protect themselves.
We think of Eddie, our 38-year-old white-handed gibbon and his family. We worry about our Asian small-clawed otters and their six-month-old pups. We consider the risk to Emma and Zeus, our geriatric ocelots. And we are concerned for the safety of our student zookeepers, who work every day to give exceptional care for our animals. They trust in college administration and zoo staff to create a safe environment where they can obtain a singular education experience.
Please know we are also thinking of your families. We are working diligently to make adjustments to the zoo, so when we do re-open, our animals, staff, students and our community are protected as much as possible. Until then, we are still #BringingTheZooToYou on Facebook and Instagram so you can remain connected with the animals. We look forward to a day in the future where your family can once again spend time with our zoo family. For updates, you can follow along on our social media and check the Santa Fe College COVID-19 alerts page.