“We didn’t feel we could do them well for multiple reasons and within our COVID safety parameters,” the statement said. “Our number one priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our visitors, staff and animals. … We hope 2022 will bring new opportunities.”
The cancellations come as the zoo has had to deal this fall with nine of its lions and tigers becoming infected with the coronavirus. The big cats displayed symptoms of the virus, including nasal discharge and coughing. Zoo officials had said they believe the virus was likely transmitted to the big cats from a human who may have been asymptomatic.
Pamela Baker-Masson, a zoo spokeswoman, said in an email Thursday that the big cats are doing “much better.”