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Seneca Park Zoo coming to a COVID-19 vaccination site near you

Max Schulte/WXXI News

The Seneca Park Zoo’s Animal Ambassador Program will be visiting the Rochester Riverside Convention Center vaccine site on Saturday from 10am-1pm. The visit by the animals is an incentive by the county to encourage animal lovers and families to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

“This is a fun opportunity for our younger, age-eligible residents and families to receive their COVID-19 vaccine, while having an up-close experience with some of our Zoo’s favorite animals,” Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said.

The Convention Center site will offer both the Johnson & Johnson and the Pfizer vaccine.

Seneca Park Zoo Director Steve Lacy said the animal display will add a perfect touch to the vaccine experience. 

“We’re really excited about it,” said Lacy. “Having been vaccinated myself, it's a very easy process, and the animals are just a little bit of icing on the cake.”

Lacy said this collaboration is also an effort to get the public more acquainted with some of the zoo animals.

On Thursday the zoo revealed that it will be adapting the new state masking guidelines.

Lacy said, for the most part, zoo goers are very happy that they’re able to take their mask off if fully vaccinated, but there are some who are still concerned.

“To those folks, I would say that we are still practicing social distancing,” said Lacy. “We still have our hand sanitizing stations, and we're still looking at more ways that we can be safe.”

The zoo will only require vaccinated people to wear a mask while indoors.

If you’re planning on visiting Seneca Park Zoo, tickets must be purchased ahead of time at the zoo’s website.

Racquel Stephen is a health and environment reporter. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Rochester and a master's degree in broadcasting and digital journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.