Tucson's Reid Park Zoo to close through March due to COVID-19 concerns
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Tucson's Reid Park Zoo to close through March due to COVID-19 concerns

Bella, a 10-year-old jaguar from Akron Zoo in Ohio, is the newest addition to Tucson's Reid Park Zoo. 

Tucson's Reid Park Zoo announced late Tuesday that it will temporarily close from Wednesday, March 18 through March 31 "to further support community efforts to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19."

"We are also closing our Asian Lantern Festival and have postponed other scheduled events through April 2020 as listed on our website," zoo officials added in a news release.

Zoo operations staff including animal care teams will continue working to provide care to animals. "At this time, the Zoo is well-stocked on supplies of essential food and medical supplies for the animals, a move it made several weeks ago in preparation for potential closure."

The Tucson-area's other zoo, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, had already announced its temporary closure, starting Tuesday, March 17.

The Desert Museum, a prime tourism attraction, is closed to public visitors — through at least the end of March — and education and public programs are canceled or postponed.

“Zookeepers will remain working on-site and continue to provide the highest quality animal care without disruption,” the Desert Museum says on its website. “We are communicating with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, our national accrediting organization, to follow best practices while keeping staff safe.”

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