Expected Modifications To Otter Swim Encounters
We have worked diligently to establish modified interactions to ensure a safe and healthy guest experience. These measures are based on guidance from health authorities, including veterinary advice, the CDC, along with requirements of the state of California and San Diego County. Please follow all posted instructions while visiting Nurtured by Nature/Animal Educators.
Even with these modified measures in place, an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present, and we cannot guarantee you will not be exposed during your visit. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the CDC, older adults and guests of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable. Guests should evaluate their risk in determining whether to visit.
By visiting Nurtured by Nature/Animal Educators, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.
What To Expect When You Visit
While it’s encouraging to see COVID-19 restrictions lifting, we can’t completely let our guard down yet. We will continue to enforce certain protocols to keep animals and guests safe. We want to be transparent which means we have created the following list that explains the changes we have made. This will give folks who feel like they would prefer not to visit under these conditions enough advanced notice to cancel within the posted cancellation timeline if they wish. Please understand that we are making the choices that we feel are BEST for the people AND the animals.
1. We ask anyone who is not feeling well, or are experiencing possible COVID19 symptoms, to notify us of your situation in advance and PLEASE stay home. During COVID19 modified encounters, and with notification and a doctor’s note, we will be happy to refund you even if notification is received less than 30 days in advance of your reserved date (however if you are able to give us that advance notice, we would greatly appreciate it).
2. We are now requesting proof of vaccination for guests attending all Otter Swim Encounters at Nurtured by Nature/Animal Educators. Guests who are able to provide proof of full vaccination (which includes booster if the last of the regular vaccinations was received more than 5 months previous to your reservation date) will not be required to wear a mask unless in the immediate areas of certain covid susceptible animals at our facility. Guests who are unable to provide proof of vaccination will be required to wear face masks at all times during their visit. We will continue to require the snorkel masks (for both vaccinated and unvaccinated) while in the pool with the otters for the protection of guests, staff, AND otters. Our staff is fully vaccinated.
3. Because the otters are so incredibly tactile, the above-mentioned masks will not be sufficient when in the pool with the otters. We have determined that the safest, most protective way to interact with the otters in the pool will be for guests and staff to wear a full-face snorkel mask (provided by us). The masks will be sanitized between guests using a bleach/water solution. These masks will maintain a safe barrier between otters and guests’ eyes, nose, and mouth. Eyeglasses do not fit under the masks, so please be prepared to either wear contacts or no glasses for this portion of the program. We understand that this may not be ideal for everyone, but it will be important in our efforts to reduce the chances of transmission of COVID19 to the otters as well as people. We do know that some otters at other facilities have contracted COVID19 and, even though it is not yet known the full effects of the virus on exotic animals, we want to do everything in our power to keep everyone as safe as possible.
If you are claustrophobic or feel that you will not be able to wear this mask during your visit, please contact us before 30 days of your reservation to cancel your visit. This will allow us to fully refund you per our posted cancellation policy.
4. Handwashing breaks will be built into the day’s schedule and hand sanitizer will be available in-between enclosures.
5. We have switched to a digital facility waiver that will need to be submitted online before visiting Nurtured by Nature/Animal Educators. This waiver will be emailed/texted to reservation
holders the week before their scheduled visit and a completed form must be received for each guest before beginning their encounter.
6. Before the COVID19 modifications we provided light refreshments to guests during break times. We will not be providing these refreshments while operating under the modified format, however, you are welcome to bring your own snacks and we strongly recommend that you bring water to keep hydrated.
7. It will be important for guests to read, understand, and agree to all of the above requirements/changes before visiting Nurtured by Nature/Animal Educators. If you are unable, or unwilling, to abide by these precautions, please notify us at least 30 days before your reserved date to cancel so that we can provide a full refund.
Our hope is that soon a vaccine will be available for us to give to the potentially susceptible animals so that we can eliminate the above modifications, but in the meantime, these precautions will be in effect until such time as circumstances change enough that they are no longer necessary to protect people and animals.