ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The St. Louis Zoo announces its doors will be reopening June 13. A grand reopening amid the pandemic comes with some new protocols.
“There are a number of both facility and operational modifications,” explains Michael Macek, St. Louis Zoo Director. “First, guests won’t be able to just park there and walk in.”
Before walking in, you will need to get online to stlzoo.org to make a free reservation for a specific time slot. With timed tickets, the zoo will be operating at about a third of the capacity. With 96 acres, that gives plenty of room to practice social distancing. Reservations are available starting June 8.
On the day your packing the car for the zoo, don’t forget to pack your face masks.
“This is the best thing I can do to protect you,” explains Macek. “Wearing the mask is the best thing you can do to protect me. If everyone follows the rules, everyone will benefit.”
To enter, everyone over the age of 9 must wear a mask, unless you have a preexisting health condition where you are unable to cover your face. Safety is number one for all guests, employees, and animals. Since closing, animal caretakers have still been on the job with extra precaution. As for the animals welcoming people back, they’re ready too.
“We do believe they miss the crowds,” says Macek. “I will say when I am here occasionally, and I walk the grounds, they are responding to me differently. Where normally I would be just another face in the crowd, but they’re sort of like what a person!”
Most exhibits will be open, except insectarium and the penguin puffin cove. If you forget your mask, they have masks available for purchase.
Officials say they are still working out some of the specifics and will release more on the policies closer to reopening. The ones that are in place include:
- The Zoo will limit attendance and require timed, free reservations for entry
- Zoo staff must wear a mask or face covering
- Guests over the age of 9 must wear masks or face coverings
- Guests can remove or lower their masks or face covering when practicing good social distancing of 6 feet or more when eating or drinking
The Zoo will be open seven days a week starting June 13. Online reservations will begin at 9 a.m. on Monday June 8. You can make those reservations and learn more about the policies at stlzoo.org