Important update

Important update

An update from our Zoos

For the health and safety of our guests, staff and the broader community, and to comply with social distancing measures, mandated by government and health authorities across the country to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo are required to temporarily close, effective 5pm Wednesday 25 March 2020.

Update

For the health and safety of our guests, staff and the broader community, and to comply with social distancing measures, mandated by government and health authorities across the country to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo are required to temporarily close, effective 5pm Wednesday 25 March 2020.

This closure includes the Taronga Institute of Science & Learning, all accommodation across both Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo and the Taronga Function Centre. 

This is an extremely difficult decision and one that was not taken lightly as we know that communities need places like Taronga at these times, however, Taronga is committed to following the guidance of the State and Federal Government and our health professionals to ensure we meet social distancing guidelines and support all efforts to protect our communities.

We are also committed to re-opening and being accessible to our communities as soon as it is safe to do so. 

While both Zoos will be closed to the public, Taronga’s essential staff will continue to ensure the welfare and safety of the animals in our care remains at the highest possible standard. Whilst non-essential staff will work mostly remotely, ensuring our commitments to conservation and education continue at this challenging time.

Health and safety

Over the past few weeks, Taronga has implemented a number of measures to ensure the health and safety of our guests, staff and broader community. This includes postponing events and experiences, closing indoor exhibits, significantly reducing indoor food and beverage options, going cashless and reducing capacity numbers for daily attendance at both our zoos. There have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at either Taronga Zoo Sydney or Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo. We hope that these measures will put us in a strong position to re-open safely when the immediate crisis has passed.

Tickets

All tickets purchased to Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo have had the validity extended and honoured for 12 months from the date of purchase. We hope to welcome you to our zoos again in the not too distant future. Further details will be placed here in the coming day or two regarding access to refunds for guests who do not have the option to re-use their tickets at a later date.

Memberships

Taronga values the important role our Zoo Friends play in our community and we apologise for the impact this zoo closure will have. We are communicating separately to our valued members and we will provide additional information as the likely duration of our closure becomes clearer.

Accommodation

The Wildlife Retreat at Taronga and Roar & Snore at Taronga Zoo Sydney and Zoofari Lodge, Savannah Cabins and Billabong Camp at Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo have been temporarily closed.

All guests with a confirmed booking will be contacted by our reservations team in the coming week course to discuss options for their booking, including rescheduling for a later date, transferring the amount they have paid into a Gift Voucher for use within the next 3 years or a refund. 

Education programs

All face-to-face education and community programs have been put on hold until further notice. This includes Youth at the Zoo, Zoo Mobile, Zoo Adventures school holiday programs, Keeper for a Day programs and onsite excursions.

We hope to make further announcements about online learning soon.

Wildlife Hospital

Taronga’s two Wildlife Hospitals will remain open to provide care for the animals at our zoos as well as to receive and care for injured native wildlife.

Engagement

During this time of crisis we are committed to continuing the vital care of our wildlife, on-site and through our hospitals, and our critical conservation programs delivered beyond our two zoos.

We are committed to maintaining these measures for as long as public safety requires us to and are working hard to continue our extensive formal and community education programs via digital channels to as well as a number of innovations to ensure our commitments to wildlife and conservation continue unhindered in this time of crisis.

Thanks for your support

During this time of crisis we are committed to continuing the vital care of our wildlife, on-site and through our hospitals, and our critical conservation programs delivered beyond our two zoos.

We are committed to maintaining these measures for as long as public safety requires us to and are working hard to continue our extensive formal and community education programs via digital channels to as well as a number of innovations to ensure our commitments to wildlife and conservation continue unhindered in this time of crisis.

Frequently asked questions

Why is the Zoo closed?

In line with prevention efforts taking place across the country to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, we are temporarily closing Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo, effective from 5pm Wednesday 25 March 2020. Further details on the expected duration of the closure will emerge in the coming weeks. 

Taronga is committed to following the guidance of our state and federal government and our health professionals to ensure we do our part to protect and support our communities. 

While both Zoos will be closed to the public, Taronga’s essential staff will continue to ensure the wellbeing and safety of the animals in our care is of the highest possible standard. 

We continue to be in regular contact with NSW Health, the Federal Government and the NSW State Government regarding the situation and will provide more information on the closure in due course. 

Which Zoo facilities are closed?

The closures will include Taronga Zoo Sydney, Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo, the Taronga Institute of Science & Learning and all accommodation including The Wildlife Retreat at Taronga and Roar & Snore at Taronga Zoo Sydney and Zoofari Lodge, Savannah Cabins, Billabong Camp at Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo. Function spaces at the Taronga Centre are also closed.  

Are your accommodation properties closed?

All accommodation products including The Wildlife Retreat at Taronga and Roar & Snore at Taronga Zoo Sydney and Zoofari Lodge, Savannah Cabins, Billabong Camp at Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo have been closed until 30 June 2020. All guests with a confirmed booking be contacted by our reservations team in due course to discuss options for their booking.

Are your function spaces closed?

All function spaces are also affected by the closure. All guests with a confirmed booking will be contacted in relation to your booking.  

How long will the Zoo be closed for?

At this time, Taronga is unable to confirm how long this closure will be in place. We are committed to maintaining these measures for as long as public safety requires us to. We continue to be in regular contact with NSW Health, the Federal Government and the NSW State Government regarding the situation and will announce more information on the closure once it becomes available.

I have recently visited the zoo. Does this mean I was at risk of COVID-19?

There have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at either Taronga Zoo Sydney or Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo and as such no reason for concern. 

What steps had been taken to reduce the risk of transmission to guests?

Over the past few weeks, Taronga adjusted many aspects of our business operations to ensure the health and safety of our guests, staff and broader community. This included postponing events and experiences, closing indoor exhibits, significantly reducing indoor food and beverage options, going cashless and reducing capacity numbers for daily attendance at both our zoos.

I have already booked tickets to come to the zoo, will these tickets be extended or refunded? 

All tickets purchased to Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo will have the validity extended and honoured for 12 months from the date of purchase. We hope to welcome you to our zoos again in the not too distant future. 

I have booked to stay overnight at Taronga, will my booking be extended or refunded? 

The Wildlife Retreat at Taronga and Roar & Snore at Taronga Zoo Sydney and Zoofari Lodge, Savannah Cabins, Billabong Camp at Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo have been closed until further notice. 

All guests with a confirmed booking will be contacted by our reservations team in due course to discuss options for their booking, including rescheduling for a later date, transferring the amount they have paid into a Gift Voucher? for use within the next 3 years or a refund. 

I am Zoo Friend, what will happen to my membership?

Taronga values the important role our Zoo Friends play in our community and we apologise for the impact this zoo closure will have. We are communicating separately to our valued members and we will provide additional information as the likely duration of our closure becomes clearer.

Are the animals affected?

As advised by leading Taronga’s expert veterinary professionals, there are many types of coronavirus, some of which cause disease in domestic animals.  Wild animals, although they can function as a reservoir for coronaviruses, rarely become ill when infected. 

Zoo animals, if infected, could be a source of virus that could transfer back to people, but this scenario is unlikely and they would be no more of a risk to public health than other people sick with the virus. 

Ultimately, zoo animals, and Australian native fauna, could become infected with COVID-19, but they are highly unlikely to become sick.     

Biosecurity measures are in place and Taronga adheres to National Biosecurity Guidelines to make every attempt to prevent disease incursions.  Staff, students, volunteers and guests are encouraged to refrain from direct and indirect contact with zoo and wild animals when they are sick.
 

Who will look after the animals while the zoo is closed?

While both Zoos will be closed to the public, Taronga’s essential staff will continue to ensure the welfare and safety of the animals in our care remains at the highest possible standard.