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Same animals, fewer people: Denver Zoo reopens to members

Posted at 4:53 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 21:23:41-04

DENVER — It was a long 87 days of closure due to COVID-19 at the Denver Zoo, but on Wednesday, the gates to the zoo reopened to members with some changes in place.

“It’s great to be back. Great to see people are being safe and taking precautions,” one visitor told Denver7.

Those safety precautions include online-only ticketing, a one-way loop to direct visitors to promote social distancing, additional cleaning of railings and high-touch areas, closed exhibits inside buildings, and more. The most noticeable is the size of the crowd in attendance at the zoo on a nice June day.

“We have to limit the capacity,” Zoo Communications Director Jake Kubie said. “We have about 300 people that can come through an hour and about 2400 people per day. So that is roughly about 25% or less of what we would experience on a day like today.”

Kubie added that tickets that are purchased ahead of time online are limited in number and are for a certain time slot for guests to arrive. Once inside, they are allowed to stay as long as they would like.

Masks or face coverings are also required for everyone over the age of three, per the ordinance in the City and County of Denver.

“Everything you love about the zoo is still here,” Kubie said. “Things are back to normal-ish.”

Zoo visitors that spoke to Denver7, many with kids in tow, were happy to come back.

“They haven’t done something like this in a while so it’s wonderful to be out,” one mom said.

“The way they’re doing this to let us come back here we’ve really enjoyed it so far,” another added.

The zoo will be open to members on Wednesday and Thursday, before opening to the general public on Friday. A spokesperson tells Denver7 that ticket demand is high and tickets are limited, adding that they are selling out quickly.

For a full list of the Denver Zoo’s new procedures, visit https://denverzoo.org/visit/.