Skip to content

On the mornings of Friday, April 19 and Thursday, April 25, we will have several field trips on site. Please anticipate large groups and a busier campus!

News & Media

PRESS RELEASE: 
CuriOdyssey Temporarily Closed until June due to Storm Damage

Losses Are Estimated In The Six-Figure Range

SAN MATEO, CALIFORNIA –April 17, 2023 – CuriOdyssey is temporarily closed until June, due to extensive damage sustained from the series of atmospheric river storms. The CuriOdyssey campus has been without electricity since March 14.  Fallen trees punctured holes in building roofs, animal habitats,  veterinary treatment and quarantine holding rooms, while flooding occurred in the main exhibit concourse. Trees and branches have landed in CuriOdyssey’s parking lot, and surrounding bike and pedestrian pathways. With wind gusts reaching up to 55 mph, the wildlife team had to secure the river otter, raccoons and bobcats in their night quarters and temporarily evacuate the area during one particular storm. Much damage was sustained, especially to the river otter habitat. Between the generator rental and fuel, temporary hotspots,  structural repairs, and arborists to clear tree debris, and the inability to generate revenue from tickets and events, losses are estimated in the six-figure range.

Despite these challenges, CuriOdyssey staff continue to care for the nearly 100 animal residents, most of whom are from rehabilitation facilities because they could not survive in the wild. These animals are wonderful ambassadors to the world of science as even the youngest visitors to CuriOdyssey are curious to learn about the variety of ways animals live, eat and move.

"Without electricity, we have been relying on generators to maintain appropriate temperature and UV light needs for our reptiles and amphibians. It also allows for our veterinary team to fulfill basic emergency veterinary care of all of our resident animals, ranging from our beloved otter Gunner to the fox and bobcats. We added a WiFi hotspot that allows our team to communicate efficiently from day to day via our keeper logs. Our wildlife staff continues to deliver daily care to our animals, rain or shine, working tirelessly under difficult conditions,” said Nikii Finch-Morales, Director of Wildlife.  “I am grateful to report that all of our animals are safe."

CuriOdyssey is uniquely vulnerable to the rise in storm intensity due to its unprotected coastal location and the many eucalyptus trees in the area.  Their shallow root systems and top-heavy canopies make eucalyptus trees susceptible to falling during high wind and rain events.

“These extreme weather events are due to the climate crisis.  While we hope to open to the public as soon as possible, our first priority remains the safety of our community,” said Aragon Burlingham, Executive Director. “We are currently accepting donations to help defray the costs associated with campus damage, and revenue loss from  the closure. We need the public's help to restore the habitats of every animal who calls CuriOdyssey home.  Science is real.  It is critical to inspire a love for science and curiosity about the world to create a brighter future.  The next generation will inherit these complex and profound challenges, and CuriOdyssey can light the way forward with hope and a sound understanding of science.”

San Mateo County Park rangers have estimated that approximately 100 trees have fallen in the Coyote Point Recreational Area. CuriOdyssey staff are grateful for the partnership with San Mateo County Park rangers helping with tree diagnosis and removal, clean-up, and safety assessments.  Restoring electricity and internet, clearing all storm debris, and securing clearance from the San Mateo County park rangers are among the critical steps toward reopening.

Repairs to the power grid have taken longer than originally anticipated due to the unique equipment at Coyote Point Recreation Area. The transformer, which also services the Coyote Point Marina, Coyote Point Yacht Club, and Coyote Point Pistol and Rifle Range, requires special replacement parts that have been difficult to obtain. San Mateo County, which maintains the transformer, is coordinating with PG&E to restore the power once the replacement parts are refurbished and installed. Until then, those businesses housed in Coyote Point alongside CuriOdyssey remain off the grid.

CuriOdyssey staff are contacting any member of the public who purchased advanced tickets for visits that will occur during the temporary closure.  Staff are also contacting anyone with visits planned for group visits, weekend workshops and programs, rental events, and school and community partners that have upcoming activities affected by this extended closure. Unfortunately, the series of storms has also delayed the construction of Bay Gallery & Labs, previously slated to open in March.

About CuriOdyssey

CuriOdyssey’s mission is to inspire a love for science and curiosity about the world to create a better future.  As a non-profit science museum and zoo, CuriOdyssey lets kids loose to observe wild animals, experiment with scientific phenomena and let the natural world answer their questions.  Founded in 1953 as a junior museum, the museum was rebranded in 2011 as CuriOdyssey, catalyzing growth in audiences, educational programs and exhibits. Long a much-loved destination for families in the Bay Area, CuriOdyssey is increasingly known as a champion for a way of learning that engages children in science. uriOdyssey is located at Coyote Point Recreation Area in San Mateo. For more information, visit www.CuriOdyssey.org.

 

CuriOdyssey
1651 Coyote Point Drive
San Mateo, CA 94401
Starting Saturday, June 3
Open Tues - Sun, 10 am - 5 pm
www.curiodyssey.org

(650) 340-7755

 

Media contact:
Sierra Gonzalez, Director of Sales & Marketing
[email protected]

650-340-7572

Join the CuriOdyssey Community

LOCATION

1651 Coyote Point Drive
San Mateo, CA 94401
Ohlone Land Acknowledgement
650-342-7755
[email protected]

CuriOdyssey is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Tax ID 94-1262434

Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The gold standard for animal care and welfare.
ASTC Member. Association of Science and Technology Centers.
Scroll To Top