Beginning Monday, June 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Birmingham Zoo will host a soft reopening limited only to Members and donors of our Emergency Animal Fund. The Zoo will reopen to the public three days later, on Thursday, June 11.
“We are excited to welcome our guests back to their Zoo,” says Chris Pfefferkorn, Birmingham Zoo President & 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.”
The Zoo will open and operate in phases, and in compliance with city, state, and federal guidelines. Phase One is a reduced opening with strict limits on attendance and one-way traffic patterns. Guests will enter through the front gate and be required to exit through the Children’s Zoo gate. Directional signage and distancing markers will guide guests on a one-way pathway, while signage and other measures will remind guests of safe and healthy practices.
A timed-ticketing system will be implemented to limit the number of guests and provide for better physical distancing. Online admission tickets will be required for members and visitors and will be available on the Zoo’s website at birminghamzoo.com. Members will need to sign-in to their account to reserve a time and access a Member ticket.
The Birmingham Zoo supports efforts to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, and we recognize that the best way to prevent the COVID-19 illness is to avoid exposure to the virus. All visitors & members to the Zoo will be required to wear face masks for the protection of other guests, our staff, and our animals per City of Birmingham ordinance mandating the wearing of face masks in public places. Zoo staff will be required to wear face masks and maintain other heightened safety protocols. We have enhanced our rigorous sanitation protocols and cleaning standards to ensure that all facilities will be thoroughly disinfected.
The Zoo will be operating as an outdoor experience in a park environment. High-touchpoint areas like rides and attractions will not be in operation. Animal encounters and experiences, including shows and demonstrations, have been postponed in order to minimize clustering of guests. Animal buildings and Nourish 205 indoor restaurant will be closed during this time.
Guests will be able to purchase food at Wild Burger restaurant, which is equipped with outdoor seating. The Gift Shop will be closed but gift kiosks will be stationed near the exit gate for guests to purchase items. Cash will not be accepted to buy tickets, food, or merchandise. Major credit cards are the only forms of payment that will be accepted.
More updates on the Zoo’s phased reopening and guest guidelines will be announced via press releases and on our social media platforms at Facebook.com/BirminghamZoo, Twitter.com/BirminghamZoo, and Instagram.com/bhamzoo.