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Louisville Zoo Starts Reopening After Temporary Closure in Response to COVID-19

Louisville Zoo

The Louisville Zoo is excited to announce that it will begin its reopening on Friday, June 12, 2020, following the temporary closure in response to COVID-19.

The initial reopening phase will be for members only. The Zoo will reopen to general admission ticket purchasers on Friday, June 26, 2020. It will operate with a reduced capacity of 100 guests per hour. 

“We are excited to reopen and offer families a healthy, socially distanced outdoor space to relax and reconnect with one another and wildlife,” said Zoo Director John Walczak. “Our first priority continues to be the safety and health of our guests, staff and animals. Guests will notice staff wearing masks, disinfecting high-touch areas and sharing gentle reminders on social distancing. Thank you in advance for your patience while we work to navigate these uncharted waters and expand capacity once it is safer to do so.”

Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 for members only. Tickets for general admission will go on sale on Saturday, June 20, 2020. 

Everyone, including members, must reserve tickets online at http://LouisvilleZoo.org/tickets

No one will be admitted without a ticket. Members and guests will be asked to choose their date and hour of arrival. This will to help to reduce contact and manage guest capacity. Tickets will be valid for the assigned date and time only. In order to accommodate the most guests, the Zoo requests that members limit their visits to one per week during this initial phase.

The special ticketing policy, including frequently asked questions, is available at http://louisvillezoo.org/together

The Zoo has remained in communication with the Mayor’s office and the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness throughout the COVID-19 response and has closely worked with them on the reopening. The Zoo will be following the latest safety guidelines. 

Staff will have mandatory temperature checks as they arrive to work. All staff in public areas will wear masks. We will be strongly encouraging guests to wear masks as well. Zoo keepers will continue to wear masks around vulnerable animal populations.

The Zoo will be cleaning and disinfecting high-touch areas frequently. All of the restrooms will be open with step-and-pull entry or touchless access. Zoo staff and markers will be present to help encourage social distancing.

In order to encourage social distancing, guests will be asked to follow a one-way route through the Zoo. Indoor exhibit areas will not be open during the initial reopening phase. The Wild Walk trail will take guests through popular exhibits like the Islands, the Americas, Glacier Run and Gorilla Forest. Along the way, guests will be able to see Sunni and Sebastian in the Zoo’s new sloth exhibit and the elephant calf, Fitz. In the coming months, the Zoo hopes to reopen indoor exhibits, rides and playgrounds.

There will be limited menus available at select outdoor food kiosks throughout the Zoo, as well as water bottle refill stations. Outdoor picnic areas have been arranged to ensure social distancing.

The Get Healthy Walking Club presented by Norton Healthcare will also return on Friday, June 26, 2020. Walking Club hours are 8 – 9:15 a.m., before the Zoo opens. This program will also operate on a reduced capacity and first-come basis. It will be closed to new members during this initial reopening phase.

The Louisville Zoo, a non-profit organization and state zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

(provided by the Louisville Zoo)

Paul Hitchcock earned his Masters in Communications from Morehead State University and Bachelors in Radio-TV/Psychology from Georgetown College. A veteran broadcaster for more than 40 years and an avid fan of blues, jazz and American roots music. Hitchcock has been with WMKY since 1986 and was named General Manager in 2003. He currently hosts "Muddy Bottom Blues" (Fri., 8pm-9pm), "Nothin' But The Blues" (Sat., 8pm-12am), "Sunday Night Jazz Showcase" and "Live From The Jazz Lounge" (Sun., 8pm-9pm) and "The Golden Age of Radio" (Sun., 2pm-3pm). He also serves as producer for "A Time For Tales" and "The Reader's Notebook."
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