CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, NJ -- The animals at the County Zoo might be a little confused and lonely with the lack of visitors, but rest assured this does not mean the animals are not being well cared for by the Veterinarians and Zoo Keepers. The staff has been reduced in compliance with the social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, but there is enough staff to tend to the animal’s needs and their daily routine continues. The staff are rotating days to maintain the same quality of care as before the shutdown.
As all attractions and large gathering places, the Cape May County Parks and Zoo are closed to the public until further notice. Freeholder E. Marie Hayes, liaison to the Park and Zoo wanted to assure everyone that the animals are doing well and the staff has stepped up to ensure they are cared for and get the interaction they enjoy from seeing the public.
"During this time the Zookeepers and Park staff are working every day to continue the same excellent care for the animals and maintain the facility while preparing for the time when we can reopen. We are disappointed that we had to cancel our Eggstravaganza Easter Egg Hunt and our Earth Day Celebration, but the public safety comes first and we are promising next year’s events will be even better", Hayes said.
Associate Veterinarian, Alex Ernst, DVM, reassures the public that the animals are all in excellent health and the staff continues to do their daily rounds, which includes feeding, health checks and thorough cleaning of the facility. The staff and animals are protected at all times and the staff is wearing the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE).
"We look forward to the day we can reopen and welcome the public back to the Parks and Zoo. I am proud of the staff and the work they are doing with a reduced workforce but not surprised. They are hardworking and so caring and passionate about the animals in their care, and they show it every day. It is also heartwarming to see the interest in the animals by our visitors. Visiting the Zoo is a bright spot for most of our visitors and the staff and the animals are anxious to see them return. I want to just let those who have expressed concern know that the animals in the Zoo are doing very well", Hayes added.
The Zoo is free to the public but relies heavily on donations. During the time the Zoo is closed, donations have slowed down. It is anticipated that donations could drop as much as $140,000 compared to the same time last year. Donations can be made online by going to www.cmczoo.com.
NOTE: Photo and captions are on attached news release