Central Florida Zoo reopens after Hurricane Ian closure, damages expected to exceed $800,000

click to enlarge Sanford's Central Florida Zoo suffered from heavy flooding after Hurricane Ian swept through the state. - Photo via Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Photo via Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Sanford's Central Florida Zoo suffered from heavy flooding after Hurricane Ian swept through the state.

The Central Florida Zoo reopened today after nearly a month of closure due to the impact of Hurricane Ian.

Sanford's Central Florida Zoo closed on Sept. 28 to prepare for the oncoming hurricane and has since been closed to visitors for cleanup. Flooding was revealed to be a prominent issue for the zoo, as it sits near both St. Johns River and Lake Monroe.

The Wayne M. Densch Discovery Center, the zoo's main meeting building, will remain closed likely for a month or more due to excessive flooding damage, according to a press release from the Central Florida Zoo. The bear exhibit and boardwalk is also closed temporarily for repairs and cleanup. Most other exhibits are expected to be operating as usual.


CEO Richard E. Glover, Jr. said that the total in damages is likely to exceed $800,000. The exact total has not yet been finalized, according to the press release. The zoo is accepting donations through their Hurricane Ian Relief Fund to help recover from their losses during their time closed.

The zoo's animal care team kept all animal residents safe during the closure, according to the press release.

The zoo will welcome visitors back with the  Zoo Boo Bash, held Oct. 29 and 30, a trick-or-treating event inside the zoo.
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