"We can't wait to see you!" reads a tweet published yesterday by the SF Zoo in anticipation of Monday’s expected crowds (that will be capped at 50 percent capacity). And, honestly: we've never been more overjoyed at the promise of seeing ring-tailed lemurs fling themselves through a series of aerial acrobatics.
The San Francisco Zoo and Gardens was originally set to open its doors again on June 19, but a spike in COVID-19 cases prompted SF officials to slow the City's reopening plans. The sudden emergency brake-pull left them and other businesses like hair salons, tattoo studios, and museums reeling. But in a narrow turn of events, Mayor Breed announced Friday that the SF Zoo could reopen Monday, assuming certain health requirements were met; they, alas, have been completed.
Our staff, volunteers, animals & guests are our top priority and we’ve worked hard to implement enhanced protocols for your safety. Here are a few things to expect when you visit #SFZoo:— San Francisco Zoo (@sfzoo) July 11, 2020
•Online reservations only
•Facial coverings required
• New “rules of the road” pic.twitter.com/aHewMptGXj
Per NBC Bay Area, Breed's declaration yesterday omitted the other mentioned businesses from opening Monday, though they were promised they could "soon.” A clearer picture of when that exactly might be is expected to come after the Department of Public Health reveals its observed COVID-19 case trends — which will be shared alongside updates on other health indicators being used to manage the city's gradual reopening — Wednesday.
But! Back to the macaws, marsupials, and Madagascan hissing cockroaches.
Announced yesterday in a press release and across social media, the San Francisco Zoo will allow "members and guardians" to visit the facility on Monday and Tuesday, July 13 and July 14, after securing a ticket and time slot online. Members of the general public are set to be welcomed back into 100-acre faunal oasis Wednesday, July 15th, and will also need to book their reservations in advance online.
Let’s try this again! We’re thrilled to announce that #SFZoo will open to the general public on July 15! As we prepare for our reopening, we are excited to host our loyal #SFZoo Members and Guardians on July 13 & 14. Reservations can be made beginning Saturday, July 11 at 12 p.m. pic.twitter.com/MgdmgRLfkp— San Francisco Zoo (@sfzoo) July 10, 2020
As reported by KRON4, soon-to-be visitors are urged to visit the zoo’s website for updated safety guidelines and make sure they can comply with them. Among the now online-only reservation model, below are newer revisions:
- Apple Pay, Google Pay, and credit card transactions only
- Face coverings are required for all staff and visitors except children age two
- Zoo capacity will be limited to 50 percent
- Maintain six-foot distance between your group and others when waiting
- No in-and-out privileges
Though the zoo's website states that all talks and animal feedings are temporarily canceled, it's unclear if they’re now happening due to the swift reopening. (You can see a complete list of scheduled feeding here if they’re now a-go.)
As part of the well-received (and widely celebrated) announcement, the SF Zoo sent out a slew of tweets yesterday afternoon with one reading "Let’s try this again!". We're crossing our fingers that this second try, too, goes off swimmingly well — and doesn’t go the way of the dodo bird.
Image: Diana Parkhouse