The Birmingham Zoo will reopen to the public today, June 11, after closing on Marc 19 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A soft reopening was held on June 8 for members only and Emergency Animal Fund donors.
“We are excited to welcome our guests back to their Zoo,” says Chris Pfefferkorn, Birmingham Zoo president and CEO. “Our staff is taking every precaution to keep our visitors and animals safe during every phase of reopening. We are committed to providing a safe environment for our guests to enjoy the natural world and make memorable connections to wildlife.”
According to a release, the facility will open and operate in phases, and in compliance with city, state and federal guidelines.
Phase One, which began on June 8, is a reduced opening with strict limits on attendance and guided one-way traffic patterns.
A timed-ticketing system will limit the number of guests, in order to provide enough room for physical distancing. Therefore, online admission tickets will be required for members and visitors and will be available at birminghamzoo.com.
In addition, guests will enter through the front gate and will be required to exit through the Children’s Zoo gate.
Directional signage and distancing markers, will guide guests on a pathway, while signage and other measures will remind guests of safe and healthy practices.
All guests and zoo staff are required to wear a face mask for the protection of other guests, staff members and animals per a City of Birmingham ordinance mandating the wearing of face masks in public places.
The facility has also enhanced its sanitation protocols and cleaning standards to ensure that all areas will be thoroughly disinfected.
Animal encounters, shows and demonstrations have been postponed in order to minimize the clustering of guests.
High touchpoint and enclosed areas – including rides, attractions, animal buildings and the Nourish 205 indoor restaurant – will not be in operation. The gift shop will also be closed, but gift kiosks will be stationed near the exit gate. Food can be purchased at the outdoor Wild Burger restaurant, which is equipped with outdoor seating.
Cash will not be accepted to buy tickets, food or merchandise. Major credit cards are the only forms of payment that will be accepted.
For more updates on the Zoo’s phased reopening and guest guidelines, visit the zoo’s social media platforms at Facebook.com/BirminghamZoo, Twitter.com/BirminghamZoo and Instagram.com/bhamzoo.