Toronto Zoo will close for at least three weeks in response to Omicron threat

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A tiger in its pen at the Toronto Zoo in 2018. The zoo announced Tuesday that it will close for at least three weeks in response to the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. (Martin Trainor/CBC - image credit)
A tiger in its pen at the Toronto Zoo in 2018. The zoo announced Tuesday that it will close for at least three weeks in response to the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. (Martin Trainor/CBC - image credit)

The Toronto Zoo has announced it's closing for at least the next three weeks.

The zoo and its Terra Lumina night walk attraction will be closing, effective Wednesday, Jan. 5 until at least Jan. 27, according to a Tuesday news release.

While outdoor portions of the zoo could have remained open under Ontario's latest round of COVID-19 restrictions, the zoo says it decided to take a proactive approach.

"Your Toronto Zoo is taking the proactive and necessary step of closing the zoo to further protect the health and safety of our staff/volunteers, members, guests and of course, our animals, especially those animals that are susceptible to COVID-19," the release stated.

Members of the public who have already purchased tickets will be able to use them when the zoo reopens or they can request a refund.

Zoo members will also be granted an extension on their memberships equal to the number of weeks it remains closed.

In the meantime, the zoo said it will maintain critical staffing levels to ensure the care and welfare of its animals and infrastructure.

It's also putting measures in place to train additional staff for essential positions in case of staffing shortages caused by sickness or self-isolation requirements.

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