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Coronavirus: London Zoo to close for first time since the war

Car park to be handed to NHS staff

21 March, 2020 — By Richard Osley

LONDON Zoo is to close its gates to the public for the first time since World War Two due to spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The charity’s leadership team agreed last night (Friday) that the zoo in Regent’s Park should close in line with the latest instructions from the UK government. The zoo’s car park will now be reserved for frontline NHS staff working at nearby Portland and UCLH hospitals.

Dedicated zookeepers, vets and teams continue work to care for the animals – many of which are endangered species – behind the closed doors.

Dominic Jermey, the zoo’s director general said: “It is with deep regret that we have made the decision to close ZSL London Zoo to the public, but it is the right one.

“We’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that our animals will be as well looked after as ever; our extraordinary zookeepers, vets and grounds teams will be in every day to do just that.”

He added: “In this past week I have been deeply touched by the depth of compassion, loyalty and solidarity shown by the people here at ZSL. In the face of true adversity, they have demonstrated their willingness to do whatever it takes to keep ZSL London Zoo’s animals safe and well. I believe that our visitors, members and supporters will show us the same loyalty at this difficult time. We can’t wait to welcome them all back to their Zoo.”

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