‘Roaring back’: San Diego Zoo to reopen later this month

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‘Rex,’ the San Diego Zoo’s 27-foot bronze lion at the park entrance.
(Photo: Christina Simmons/San Diego Zoo)

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Zoo and Safari Park will reopen to the public Saturday, June 20, ending a closure since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The COVID-19 closure was the first major hiatus in the organization’s 103-year history, park officials said. They have branded their return, “Roaring Back.”

It won’t be the exact same experience that regulars are accustomed to: Health and safety precautions will be in place for families who visit the attractions, park staff said.

Face coverings are required for all visitors 2 and older, the number of guests allowed on the grounds at one time will be metered, and only limited dining and shopping areas will be open, at first.

The zoo is also introducing new cleaning routines, adding more handwashing and sanitizing locations, setting up one-way walking paths, and encouraging social distancing practices, according to San Diego Zoo Global. Some guided tours and other attractions will also be closed in the first few weeks.

Full details on reopening are available here.

 “As the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park reopen to guests, it’s true that we will be faced with a new normal,” said Paul Baribault, San Diego Zoo Global’s president and CEO.

“However, within this new normal, I have no doubt we will be able to showcase our strength, our resilience, our dedication to community, and our continued mandate to save wildlife around the world. Welcome back!”

A series of invitation-only preview events for donors and other boosters will begin Sunday.

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