After 38 years of operation, Ardastra Gardens Zoo and Conservation Centre announced yesterday it has closed indefinitely due to lost revenue resulting from closing its doors in compliance with the government’s emergency orders enacted to contain the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The center, a popular attraction, especially for children, will keep only a skeleton crew to continue caring for the animals, according to the center’s director, Katherine Solomon.
“Over the past weeks, we have monitored the spread of coronavirus and developed plans to keep our animals safe and healthy through the biggest crisis ever to disrupt our operations,” Solomon said in a press release.
“Although we have closed our doors to the public, a small complement of our animal care specialists will continue to work onsite, feeding and caring for our beloved national treasures.”
Last week, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis tabled a proclamation by the governor general declaring a public state of emergency in the country over COVID-19.
Shortly after, he ordered a curfew be imposed across the country and all businesses, with limited exceptions, will suspend operations for a period of 11 days.
However, Ardastra noted that it may not reopen even once that period has passed.
“Due to the catastrophic revenue loss associated with the closure, Ardastra [is] uncertain when it will reopen its doors,” the release read.
Finance industry experts have estimated the economic impact of COVID-19 could overshadow its health impact in The Bahamas.