After contending with yet another shutdown — one that dealt even more financial blows to our local zoological facilities — the San Francisco Zoo has, once again, reopened to the general public.
It's no news that we here at SFist adore our endearing Bay Area zoos.
2020 not only left our regional wildlife parks struggling to stay financially solvent, but it was also a year that saw Maki, San Francisco Zoo's 22-year-old ringtailed lemur, get snatched by a thirty-something man — who then apparently left the stolen primate monkeying around near a Daly City daycare. Things, thankfully, are at least looking on the sunnier, less destitution-heavy side of things for the SF Zoo as staff began welcoming back general admission guests this weekend.
Big news! Your #SFZoo will re-open later this week! As a special thank you, our members can make online reservations for visits Thursday & Friday, and the general public for visits starting Saturday. Please review our safety protocols at https://t.co/u4ey6w9j1G. pic.twitter.com/Xrp7eBInHR— San Francisco Zoo (@sfzoo) January 27, 2021
Prior to Saturday, the zoo was open to only those with a membership — which you can sign up for one, here.
Like we mentioned prior: Zoos and aquariums also rely heavily on ticket sales from visitors, as well as in-park purchases, to sustain their operations. And those revenue streams had all but dried up overnight when the zoo closed its doors in early December.
Outings at our local zoos remain among the safer COVID-friendly activities you can do. The San Francisco Zoo gone as far as to employ surveillance technology to ensure guests are wearing masks, while simultaneously leaving all indoor displays off limits to patrons out of an abundance of caution.
Every outdoor exhibit also features well-spaced, oneway passages to avoid crowding; hand sanitizer bottles and handwashing stations are plentiful. Like before it closed, the San Francisco Zoo will still require reservations to be made in advance.
When purchasing your ticket, you'll be instructed to review the zoos' COVID-19 safety protocols and policies, as well as choose the timeslot you wish to choose.
Currently, only the San Francisco Zoo is open to the public — but the Oakland Zoo isn't far behind and is expected to resume operation on February 3.
To go the extra mile in supporting our zoos, consider donating to their ongoing conservation and public education efforts. Both the SF Zoo and Oakland Zoo are 501(c)3 non-profit organizations, meaning a donation toward each is a tax-deductible act of charity; monetary contributions will also go toward supporting veterinary work and other animal care services.
Image: Courtesy of @sfzoo via Marianne Hale