May 05, 2020 · Featured
After being closed for nearly two months due to COVID-19, the Sedgwick County Zoo is building a phased plan to reopen under the current guidelines set by State and local governments. Restrictions will be put in place to ensure safety of animals, employees, and guests.
Upon reopening, the most notable difference will be scheduled admission for all guests. Tickets must be
purchased online prior to arrival, allowing not only for the total daily capacity to be limited, but also for guests to be evenly spaced throughout the day. Members, who enjoy unlimited free visits, will also be required to reserve tickets online using their member ID.
Tickets will be sold in half-hour blocks from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Zoo Members and senior citizens will have the opportunity to purchase early bird tickets at 8 and 8:30 a.m. A limited number of tickets will be sold during each block. Guests may arrive anytime within their scheduled 30-minute block. Once inside the Zoo, the duration of their visit is not limited to a certain amount of time.
Increased Sanitization and Safety Measures
Guests will be encouraged to wear masks, with the opportunity to purchase masks upon entry if needed.
Hand sanitizing stations will be added, restrooms will be cleaned every 2 hours, and a “Clean Team” will be focused on routinely disinfecting frequent touchpoints. Zoo staff will be required to wear masks and other appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.
Social distancing inside the Zoo will be encouraged with markers in high-traffic exhibit areas and capacity inside buildings will be monitored and limited based on square footage. Paths throughout the Zoo will include directional suggestions, with a goal of keeping guests moving in one direction.
Alterations to Zoo Experience
Additional limitations will be put in place in order to ensure the safety of everyone at the Zoo. Keeper Chats, Animal Extras, and Wild Encounters will not take place. Playgrounds, water fountains, and Farms contact yards will be closed. The Beastro and other restaurants will operate from outdoor service
windows only. Attractions including boat rides, giraffe feedings, and trams will be closed. These
restrictions will begin to be lifted in the final phases of the reopening plan.
Due to the potential risk of transmission of COVID-19 from humans to great apes, some viewing areas at Gorillas, Chimpanzees, and Orangutans will be blocked off.
Timeline for Phased Reopening
Monday, May 18: Soft open, MEMBERS ONLY
Thursday, May 21: Open to the public
The Zoo will reopen for members only on Monday, May 18. This “soft open” will give Zoo staff
time to troubleshoot and respond to any issues that may arise with the new scheduled admission
On Thursday, May 21, the Zoo will reopen to the public, with a total daily capacity of 1,000.
Monday, June 1
Daily capacity will increase to 2,000 guests.
Final phases will be determined based on ongoing guidance from State government, Sedgwick
County, and local health officials.