San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo, Safari Park Reopen to General Public

Preview Week for the zoo's members and donors began last week on Sunday and health care workers were welcomed on Friday. Both parks reopened to the general public on Saturday

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park finally reopened for the general public on Saturday after hosting a preview week for members and health care workers.

Both San Diego Zoo locations opened its doors to the public following the first major closure in the zoo’s 103-year history. Along with other major attractions, both the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park shuttered its doors in March as the coronavirus pandemic affected the U.S.

In order to keep visitors safe, new measures will be adopted at both sanctuaries that include limitations to its shopping and dining experiences. The number of guests at a time will be reduced, one-way paths and barriers will be placed, an increased number of hand-washing and sanitization stations will be available, and robust cleaning routines will be made.

The zoo's new capacity will be 5,000 guests at a time while the safari park's capacity will be 3,000. Usually, the number of people who visit the parks are doubled that, respectively.

Visitors will be encouraged to wear facial coverings and practice social distancing at both locations.

“This is going to be an interesting time for every business," said Paul Baribault, President and CEO of the San Diego Zoo. "We know that we’re not going to be operating at 100 percent capacity for a period of time so it’s going to be an extended time before we can really see what’s going to happen. but we’re convinced that we can give our audience is a really comfortable and safe experience for this entire summer and onward in the future.”

Both parks will operate in stages that will begin with the aforementioned measures. As time goes on and under public health guidelines, the new practices will be loosened.

During the initial reopening phase, a few things will be unavailable, such as the Zoo’s Guided Bus Tour, Kangaroo Bus and Skyfari Aerial Tram, and the Safari Park’s Africa Tram. Some shows, tours, and safari experiences that typically include a large number of people will also be unavailable.

For information on how to purchase tickets for either park, click here.

The San Diego Zoo is preparing to reopen to the public after being closed for months due to the coronavirus pandemic. NBC 7’s Audra Stafford gets introduced to a wild resident as she shares details on the reopening.
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