The Buffalo Zoo is the third oldest zoo in the nation, but has remained closed due to the coronavirus. 

What You Need To Know

  • The Buffalo Zoo has been closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Assemblyman Sean Ryan says it's time to open the zoo as other zoos in New York have reopened.

  • Ryan urged Gov. Cuomo to allow it, saying the zoo has a health and safety plan.

Pointing to the recently reopened Syracuse zoo, Assemblyman Sean Ryan wrote a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo asking that the state allow for the Buffalo zoo to reopen as well. 

"The Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse recently reopened under the direction of the Onondaga County Executive. County Executive McMahon has said that the zoo in Syracuse reopened because it is county property, and private zoos must remain closed, " Ryan, a candidate for the state Senate, wrote in the letter to the governor. 

"The Buffalo Zoo is also not a private zoo, and is supported by state, county, and city resources. Given the fact that the state has not shut the Syracuse zoo down, or imposed fines for reopening early, I can only assume that the state approves of the action taken by Onondaga County."

The lawmaker also submitted the zoo's 12 page health and safety plan that includes capacity limits, additional cleaning, and the closure of certain exhibits that would make it hard to socially distance. 

The plan also has a section for protecting the animals such as monitoring them for any COVID-19 symptoms and keeping them at a distance from the public. 

"Having spoken with officials from the Buffalo Zoo, I know they are eager to work with your administration to put a plan in place to open the zoo, in a safe and expeditious manner," Ryan wrote to the governor. "The Buffalo Zoo is facing unprecedented financial stress during this difficult time, and soon will enter a breaking point it may not come back from."‚Äč