For now, Ardastra Gardens and Wildlife Conservation Centre will remain open as management continues to closely monitor the spread of Covid 19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, which can infect both animals and people, and could trigger a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to lung lesions and pneumonia. Although much of its tourist traffic has fallen off, Ardastra has taken several precautionary measures to safeguard staff, its animals and the locals who visit the property daily. “In an effort to keep our staff and the animals healthy and safe, we’ve temporarily suspended all guided tours and animal interactions including the lorry bird feeding,” said Katherine Solomon, Ardastra’s director. “We’re also following global protocols as it relates to personal protective measures – thorough and frequent handwashing with soap and water or 60 per cent alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
The staff has increased the cleaning of surfaces in high traffic areas and management is executing a further screening of any guest exhibiting signs of respiratory illness prior to their admission into the gardens.” In the meantime, gatherings of more than 50 persons, schedule to take place at Ardastra have been postponed until further notice. However, guests can still participate in the flamingo show held three times a day at 10:30 a.m., 2:15 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.
“As we take measures to ensure our long-term sustainability, we remain committed to delivering an outstanding experience,” said Mrs Solomon. “This is a balancing act, requiring us to prioritize and decide how to allocate our limited resources since the economic implications are staggering. We are keeping calm and assessing the situation on a daily basis to ascertain the best way forward for Ardastra.” Over 200 creatures representing 50 species live in the gardens. They are cared for by a 27-strong team. Ardastra is known for its close encounters with the parading pink flamingos, rainbow lorikeets, peafowl and parrots.