Coronavirus New York City Update: WCS zoos, aquarium to close amid COVID-19 outbreak

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The Wildlife Conservation Society is temporarily closing the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo and New York Aquarium, effective Monday, March 16.

Their five parks will be closed and education and public programs will be cancelled until further notice.

"This action is being taken as city and state leaders have called on businesses to voluntarily close to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19," WCS said in a statement. "And following declarations of states of emergency in the United States, New York State and New York City.

Officials say they are committed to the safety of the Wildlife Conservation Society staff, volunteers, guests and community.

"During this period when the parks are closed, essential animal care and operations staff will continue to provide care for our animals and make sure all essential life support and other vital systems continue to operate without disruption," WCS said. "For the past weeks, we have developed plans to ensure our animals will be well cared for in the event of a disruption to regular operations due to COVID-19."

If anyone has previously purchased tickets for a zoo visit, WCS will honor/accept them on any future date in 2020. WCS Members will automatically have their membership extended.

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