Animal lovers can visit Alexandra Park Zoo again after it reopened on Tuesday, 30 June.
More than 400 people came through the gates on its first day back since the COVID-19 outbreak forced the zoo’s temporary closure on 25 March.
While the opening signals a return to normality for the animals and staff, Council’s Parks and Gardens portfolio spokesperson Cr Wayne Honor reminded members of the public that the visitor experience will be a bit different than before.
“We have reduced operating hours to 9.30am to 4.30pm and that’s mainly to facilitate staff doing extra disinfection procedures, and also to monitor and gauge the response of the animals,” Cr Honor said.
“Over the school holidays we’re only open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and then we’ll review that.
“Visitor numbers are currently limited to 50 at a time, but that is open to change depending on government restrictions.
“The barn where our reptiles and monkeys are, we have to limit to eight people based on the four-metre rule.”
Visitors will be required to provide the contact details of each visitor or group of visitors for contract tracing as required by the State Government and the Zoo Industry COVIDSafe Plan.
The closure of Alexandra Park Zoo has been hard for animal lovers but Alexandra Park Zoo Curator,David Flack said some of the animals have missed us too.
“Each animal is different, but over the shutdown the keepers have noticed that the animals are a little bit more relaxed,” David said.
“For the most part, after we opened yesterday, we noticed most of animals are still relaxed, some are a little bit shy, but then others are also enjoying the extra people and limelight.”
Cr Honor added that although the zoo has been closed to the public, it has been business as usual for the keeper team who have been working round the clock to care for the animals, and get ready for the zoo to welcome back visitors in a safe way.
“We are really happy to welcome visitors back to our zoo and ask that everyone read the conditions of entry and the COVID-19 information signage prior to entering,” he said.
“There’s a lot of new guidelines we have to undertake and abide by and while it’s a little bit challenging, we’re appreciative of the public’s patience and understanding.”
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