Zoo Atlanta will reopen Saturday with new safety protocols and procedures. Officials hope the changes will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We are pleased to welcome our members and guests back to the outdoor experiences and connections to wildlife that can only be found at Zoo Atlanta. As important as this is to us, it was essential that we not reopen the zoo until we could do so confidently, with the safety of our visitors, team members and the animals in our care as the number one priority,” President and CEO Raymond B. King said in a press release. “Many weeks of planning have gone into our reopening, and everything we have done or will do is being done with this in mind.”

The new procedures include:

Timed ticketing: Zoo Atlanta has transitioned to a timed ticketing system to control capacity and limit the number of guests who are inside the zoo at any given time. Tickets may only be purchased online, and all transactions within the zoo will be paperless, with no cash transactions. Paper maps will transition to all-digital maps guests may view on mobile devices. Timed tickets will be available beginning Thursday, May 14.

Outdoor experience: Zoo Atlanta provides a largely outdoor experience in a park environment.

During this first phase of the zoo’s reopening, all buildings (restrooms excepted), indoor venues and indoor experiences are temporarily closed, as are amenities such as Splash Fountain, rides and play areas. Food and gifts will be sold from outdoor kiosks.

One-way experience to optimize social distancing: At all locations where feasible, Zoo Atlanta will promote a one-way experience that reinforces social distancing guidelines. Pathway guides will be on hand to assist guests and encourage social distancing.

Promoting wellness: All Zoo Atlanta team members will wear masks in public-facing areas of zoo grounds. Visitors are strongly encouraged to, but are not required to, wear masks. Hand sanitizing stations are available throughout the zoo for guest convenience. Zoo teams will also frequently clean and disinfect touchpoints, restroom touchpoints and restrooms using a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved disinfectant.

Encouraging recommended self-care: Visitors are encouraged to remain mindful of current CDC guidelines and public health recommendations by practicing appropriate self-care and social distancing while on zoo grounds.

The zoo has been closed since March 13 but has found ways to connect with the public.


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Zoo Atlanta will open at 10 a.m. Saturday. Beginning Sunday, May 17, zoo hours will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.