BOSTON (WHDH) - Zoo New England is reopening its two zoos this month with additional health and safety measures in place following its temporary closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Franklin Park Zoo is set to reopen on Thursday, while the Stone Zoo in Stoneham is slated to reopen on Saturday.
Both zoos will reopen first to members with “Members Appreciation Days” running through June 3. They will then reopen to the general public on June 4.
“Care is at the heart of everything we do here at Zoo New England, and our team has been spending a lot of time over the past many weeks planning for how to re-open as safely as possible to protect the health and wellbeing of our visitors, staff and animals,” said John Linehan, President and CEO of Zoo New England. “Both Franklin Park and Stone Zoo offer expansive outdoor spaces with plenty of room for social distancing while learning about many of the incredible species that call our Zoos home. While all of our animals have continued to receive excellent care during the closure, both our staff and animals have missed our guests, and we are all very excited to open our gates to visitors once again with new protocols in place.”
Extra safety precautions are being implemented at both zoos, including guest capacity limits, one-way paths to control guest flow, clearly designated six-foot distance markers, enhanced cleaning protocols, more hand sanitizer stations throughout the zoos, and COVID-19 training for all staff.
Guests will be required to purchase tickets online for a designated time slot and there will be no re-entry once admitted into the zoo. Members are also required to reserve their time slot prior to their visit. Online tickets for the general public will be available for purchase beginning on June 1.
Guests and staff are required to wear face coverings and maintain a six-foot social distance while on zoo grounds.
Indoors buildings and playgrounds remain closed but guests can enjoy an outdoor safari walk at the zoos.
At Franklin Park Zoo, guests will be able to see the lions and tigers at the Kalahari Kingdom/Tiger Tales exhibit; red kangaroos and emus at the Outback Trail; the prairie dogs and red pandas at the Nature’s Neighborhoods Children’s Zoo; the zebras, ostrich and warthogs at Serengeti Crossing; the giraffes and Grevy’s zebra at the Giraffe Savannah, and more.
At Stone Zoo, guests can see the flamingos and bush dogs at the Caribbean Coast; the black bears, arctic fox and reindeer in Yukon Creek; the snow leopards and markhor goats in the Himalayan Highlands, as well as the new pack of Mexican gray wolf brothers, North American river otters, white-cheeked gibbons and more.
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