EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso Zoo is opening up on Wednesday after almost a year-long shutdown with some new safety guidelines and new tenants.
The zoo will open up on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. with a 50 percent capacity.
Visitors will be able to buy tickets at the entrance where they will be required to put on a mask and have their temperature taken.
Joe Montisano, director of El Paso Zoo and Botanical garden said, the safety of visitors, staff and animals is the No.1 priority.
Facilities like the restaurant and concessions will be open, also with limited number of people, but Montisano says some buildings will remain closed for the public.
“South American pavilion and the Asia Forest complex [will be closed] just because there is a double door, we just can’t get them sanitized enough, there’s too many touchy points,” explained Montisano.
The train ride and the carousel will also remain closed until further notice.
Another novelty is the operating hours which have now changed from Wednesday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and weekend hours from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The zoo will be closed on Monday and Tuesday for sanitation purposes.
Montisano said El Pasoans are encouraged to visit during week-days when the number of people is usually decreased.
“We’ve got some new critters in the mean time,” said Montisano referring to the three wolf cubs , a cougar and a giraffe that became a new part of the El Paso Zoo family.
“We’re built to have people here, we’re just made to operate that way and its been a real loss for us, I mean, almost emotionally,” revealed Montisano sharing how the zoo staff and animals are more than ready to welcome El Pasoans back.