SERVICE ANIMALS ON SITE
The Toronto Zoo is proud to be an accessible facility and welcomes guests and their service animals, as defined in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). In consideration of the health and welfare of the Toronto Zoo’s vast animal population and enjoyment of other guests, service animals are permitted under specified conditions and are restricted from some areas of the Zoo, as listed below, due to presence of free roaming animals and all non-public work areas.
The Toronto Zoo is committed to providing excellent service for all our guests. Guests with a service animal will be required to submit a current letter (issued within a year) from a physician or nurse confirming that the person named on the letter requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.
Service animal owners/handlers are required to follow the Service Animal Access Guide to be provided by Guest Services staff and detailed below.
The following areas have been identified as sensitive areas of the Zoo with free ranging animals including birds or direct animal contact where presence of service animal is prohibited: Kids Zoo Aviary, aviary in the Indo-Malayan Pavilion, Malayan Woods Pavilion, the Costa Rican aviary in the Americas Pavilion, aviary in the African Rainforest Pavilion, and the Waterside Theatre during all scheduled Animal Shows. Other areas may be identified and added to this list in the future, as deemed by management as sensitive areas to address animal management or breeding program concerns. Please note visitors are not permitted in the Zoo’s service and non-public areas.
At the time of arrival and in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), guests requiring the company of a service animal will provide Guest Services with the required current letter issued within a year from a physician or nurse confirming that the person named on the letter requires to be accompanied by a service animal for reasons relating to the disability.
In the absence of the required document, service animal admission will be at the discretion of the Chief Operating Officer or designate, upon presentation of alternative valid certification/documentation from a recognized service animal organization.
Guest Services will process admission for the party and the service animal. The owner/handler will be provided with the Service Animal Access Guide for review and compliance.
Guest Services will notify the Control Centre that a service animal (specifying what kind of animal) is on site for broadcast site wide.
SERVICE ANIMAL ACCESS GUIDE
- The service animal will remain on leash or confined within a carrier/crate and under the owner’s/handler’s control at all times. The length of the leash will not exceed four (4) feet in length. The owner/handler is fully responsible for providing adequate care and supervision of the service animal while on Zoo site.
- All Zoo exhibits should be approached slowly to give the Zoo animal time to adjust/react to the presence of a service animal. For everyone’s welfare, if the Zoo animal appears distressed or agitated, the service animal should be immediately moved further back or away from the exhibit completely. If there is any concern for the welfare of the Zoo animals, it should be reported immediately to the nearest available staff or a call to Safety & Security Control Centre at (416) 392-5901.
- The service animal must be well behaved and its owner/handler must ensure that the animal does not engage in behaviour that would be a direct threat to the safety and health of others. If the service animal is causing a disturbance for the Zoo animals or other guests, the guest and accompanying service animal may be required to leave the area or the Zoo site at the discretion of Zoo personnel.
- The service animal may use any open outdoor area for relief, the owner/handler is responsible to “stoop and scoop” and leave the area clean. Service animals should not be permitted to relieve themselves on buildings, fences, statues, garbage/recycling containers or any other similar item.
- The service animal owner/handler assumes full and total liability for any and all damages that are alleged to have been cause in whole, or in part by the direct or indirect activities of the service animal or owner/handler, including, but not limited to, injury to themselves or other person, property or animals. The owner/handler will hold harmless and indemnify from any cause of action that directly or indirectly involves the service animal, the Board of Management of the Toronto Zoo, the City of Toronto and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.
In the event that a visitor is unwilling to abide by the Zoo Policy, or parts thereof, the Safety & Security Manager (or designate) and/or the Chief Operating Officer (or designate) or the Duty Director (on weekends) shall be consulted.
Animals listed as Prohibited Animals under Schedule A of the Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349 (Animals) are not permitted on Zoo grounds.