EEE-risk prompts Buttonwood Park Zoo to reschedule annual Halloween event

SE Mass

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — The ongoing threat of mosquito-borne illness is forcing Buttonwood Park Zoo to reschedule its annual Halloween event that normally takes place at night.

Zoo Director Keith Lovett tells Eyewitness News with the New Bedford area at critical risk of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), they decided to move their “Boo at the Zoo” event earlier in the day.

Fact Sheet: Mosquito-Borne Illness Signs & Prevention » | Special Presentation: EEE Concerns »

Lovett believes it was the right call to make.

“When you consider that the majority of the people that come to the zoo are usually with children, for an abundance of caution, we are going to do all of our ‘Boo at the Zoo’ activities during the day this year,” he said.

While this may be disappointing for some kids yearning for that spooky nighttime atmosphere, Lovett says there is a bright side to the change in schedule.

“One of the challenges of historically doing ‘Boo at the Zoo’ at night is that it’s dark and it’s more difficult to see the animals,” he said.

Lovett also said additional animals that would normally be sleeping during the event will be able to join in on the Halloween festivities this year.

Children can also dress up in their Halloween costumes and visit 10 trick-or-treat stations. The zoo has several fall-themed activities that will take place throughout the event.

Boo at the Zoo will now take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the last three Saturdays and Sundays of October.

Purchase tickets: 18th annual Boo at the Zoo

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