Utica Zoo Explains Sudden Closure; Awaiting New Certification
Many in the Utica area have been wondering what led to the sudden, temporary closure of the Utica Zoo this week.
Zoo officials say there is no need for concern, they are simply awaiting an inspection from USDA which may come in the next few days. According to USDA's website, the Class-C exhibitor license for the Utica Zoo was cancelled earlier this month, but Heath says the issue was simply scheduling conflict and they are preparing to welcome USDA to the Utica Zoo property later this week.
"We have an exhibitor's license and we are not supposed to be open until the certification is finalized and we want to honor that regulation" Utica Zoo Executive Director Andrea Health told WIBX 950. The certification process is required every three years, Heath said.
"All of our animal care staff are on the grounds and the animals are doing fine," Heath said calling the delay in certification a simple scheduling glitch.
Zoo officials also shared this message on their Facebook page:
"The closure is occurring due to the scheduling of the inspections; without a finalized inspection we would be out of compliance with regulations if we were open to the public. We are working directly with USDA, with the assistance of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), to resolve this as quickly as possible.
Speaking with WIBX 950, Heath said she believed inspectors from USDA would be on the zoo grounds as early as this Thursday.