Jimmy Steal

Weekdays 3pm - 7pm

DUNSTABLE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 23: A Northern Rockhopper penguin chick named "Dobby" is weighed by keeper Alex Johnson during a photo-call at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on August 23, 2022 in Dunstable, England. As part of their regular check-ups, 10,000 animals are having their vital statistics recorded as a way of keeping track of their health and well-being at the UK's largest Zoo. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

If you grew up in Ocean County over that past 40 plus years, your childhood memories likely include feeding the animals popcorn at, what else, the Popcorn Park Zoo. Now though that has ended abruptly.

An Avian Flu outbreak at the Popcorn Park Zoo in Lacey has caused dozen of birds to be euthanized, according to Park officials. Furthermore, guests will no longer be able to purchase popcorn and peanuts, staff said. Foot bathmats will be stationed as people enter and exit the ticket booth, and hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the facility. The Park went on to say how heart broken they were over the whole ordeal:

 “The past two years have shown how quickly and precipitously a virus can change a population. Sadly, we had an outbreak of avian flu at Popcorn Park. This led to an investigation by the USDA and State Department of Agriculture. Their determination was that 80 of our chickens, ducks, and domestic geese had to be euthanized to prevent further spread of the disease. This action was taken earlier today. We are heartbroken by this outcome and know you are too.

     Out of an abundance of caution, we are remaining closed the rest of the week to sanitize and implement bio security measures within our park, as well as to give our team time to grieve. When we reopen on Saturday October 29, visitors will notice changes at the park. Popcorn and peanuts will no longer be sold, foot bathmats stationed as people enter and exit the ticket booth and hand sanitizing stations placed throughout our facility. The risk of human infection is extremely rare, and all past and future visitors should not be concerned. We thank you for your understanding as we work to ensure the health and safety of both our animals and visitors.
10/24/2022: Late last week, Associated Humane Societies Popcorn Park staff recovered a deceased duck and goose in Popcorn Park Animal Refuge. Both were sent for testing and tested positive for Avian Flu. Popcorn Park will be closed from Monday, October 24th through Friday, October 28th to fully sanitize and manage the situation for future exposure. If you have any further questions, please reach out to info@ahsppz.org or send us a message.”
The Popcorn Park Zoo and Animal Refuge was established in 1977. Currently there are over 200 animals living there. It will reopen Saturday October 29th.