BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Maryland Zoo will reopen following a three-month closure due to the coronavirus on Wednesday, June 24, but it will be for members only. They will reopen to the general public on June 27.
The zoo closed on March 16 amid growing concerns about the spread of COVID-19. Despite their closure to the public, essential zoo staff have been caring for the animals on site.
“We’re excited and ready to welcome visitors back to the Zoo,” said Don Hutchinson, president and CEO of The Maryland Zoo. “We feel our sprawling, outdoor setting provides a perfect opportunity for a fun excursion and a way to make positive memories during this unusual time.”
Visitors will find a number of new measures in place, including a news reservation timed ticketing requirement for all visitors. Tickets must be purchased online in advance to limit the number of guests during the day.
There will also be a one-way path through the zoo and indoor spaces like the Tundra Buggy and Chimpanzee Forest will be closed initially.
Rides and attractions where social distancing can’t be maintained or be adequately sanitized will also be closed — which could include the Goat Corral, Jones Falls Zephyr Train, carousel, playground, as well as the Tree and Barn silo slides.
Visitors may also be required to wear a mask in some areas of the zoo and zoo staff are required to wear masks.
“Like many other nonprofits, this has been one of the hardest times in our history,” said Hutchinson. “Our unique challenge is that we cannot simply close the gates and walk away. We provided continual care and enrichment for more than 1,500 animals at the Zoo every day, and this did not stop when we were forced to shut down. The continued financial support from generous donors and our loyal Zoo members has made it possible for us to uphold our high standard of care, but we will still be facing a budget shortfall going forward.”
The zoo projects a loss of 25% over the coronavirus closures and phased reopening.
The public can continue to support The Maryland Zoo by making tax deductible donations to the Zoo at www.marylandzoo.org/donate.
For more information on how to plan your visit, please visit https://www.marylandzoo.org/visit/tickets-hours/.