SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - After being closed more than three months due to the coronavirus, the Santa Barbara Zoo is back open to the general public.
New safety modifications will be welcoming guests before they even arrive at the zoo.
To limit person-to-person contact, tickets are only being sold online for a specific date and arrival time. Anyone 12 years or older will be required to wear a mask. And foot traffic through the zoo will be limited to one direction, helping to maintain six feet of physical distancing.
"Being able to move people through in sequence is going to make a big difference for us," Zoo CEO and President Rich Block said. "It will change the experience, only in that you won’t be able to just wander."
Block says the new one-way direction may actually help guests see parts of the park they may have missed in past visits.
Zoo staff will be wiping down high-touch areas and new hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed. Tuesday's reopening to the general public comes after a soft opening for Zoo Members.
Indoor facilities, like the Discovery Pavilion, will remain closed. The climbing wall and popular giraffe feeding deck will also remain closed for the time being. The famous Zoo Train, is open with modifications.
Guests will not only notice the safety modifications, but some new animals that have arrived at the Santa Barbara Zoo during the shutdown. A new giraffe was born, as part of the world-class breeding program. And two lions: Ralph and Felicia.
The lion pair are settling in to their new home and ready to welcome back visitors.
For more information on safety measure being taken and to reserve tickets visit sbzoo.org.