toronto zoo mask vaccine

People are thrilled and upset with the latest announcement from the Toronto Zoo

It's officially no more vax-pass day in Ontario, at least for most businesses, as the provincial government lifted its requirements on March 1. But the Toronto Zoo is drawing praise from many — along with the ire of the anti-vaccine and mask mandate camp — after sharing that it will continue adhering to pre-March 1 public health guidelines.

A statement from the zoo issued Tuesday morning reads, "While as of March 1, the Ontario Government is lifting its requirement for certain businesses under the Regulations to provide proof of vaccine, your Toronto Zoo will continue with all of our current health and safety protocols, including proof of vaccination and masking."

The tweet has generated pages upon pages of responses, most of them overwhelmingly positive, including dozens of "thank you" replies. But, like any vaccine passport and mask policy, there has been vocal opposition to the move.

A big complaint among would-be zoo visitors is that much of the site is outdoors, where transmission risks are exponentially lower than in enclosed environments.

The zoo acknowledges that "high community vaccination rates continue to reduce the risk of serious illness in humans," but stresses that "animals remain vulnerable to the risks of COVID-19 infection, and as such we will continue to employ all measures that ensure their continued protection and well-being."

Voices opposing the move include one person on Twitter who suggested that the zoo would suffer financially for their commitment to animal well-being, though others were quick to fire back in defence.

This may be annoying to humans who just want things back to normal, but the zoo states that "without a clear understanding of the ongoing risk to our animals, we will continue with our current practices," even as the province suggests more restrictions like indoor mask requirements will be lifted in the coming weeks.

Like practically every other debate on the topic, it didn't take long for the internet adage of Godwin's Law to come into play. Another said of vaxxed and masked zoo visitors, "mentally caged monkeys are only able to see more caged animals."

This announcement doesn't necessarily mean a summer of zoo trips breathing in your own sweaty face fumes, as the zoo expects "administration of the vaccine to our eligible animals will be completed by April 30, at which time we will review our practices moving forward."

Lead photo by

Toronto Zoo

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