(The following is a press release from the Hattiesburg Convention Commission.)
The Hattiesburg Zoo announced today that it will close at 4 p.m. Monday, March 16th and will not reopen until at least March 31st in an effort to help stop the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19. The Hattiesburg Zoo has been closely monitoring health information on COVID-19 along with recommendations of the CDC, State of Mississippi, and City of Hattiesburg. As a result of this guidance, we have made the difficult decision to close to the public. The health and safety of our guests, staff, animals, volunteers and the community are our highest priority.
The Hattiesburg Zoo’s mission is to further our guests’ appreciation, respect, and knowledge of nature in a way that improves our quality of life. At this time, we believe that closing will improve our community’s quality of life over the long term.
In addition to our guests, we have a great responsibility in taking care of Kipling, Maya, Chewy, Craig, Tina and all the other wildlife in our charge. Animal care will continue through our professional zookeepers while they implement personal safety procedures that are continuously updated in accordance with the CDC and industry standards. These, of course, may change on a daily basis and so, we will adapt to protect our staff and the wildlife in their care.