LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) — The Little Rock Zoo announces its reopening since its mid-March closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The phased reopening will begin with exclusive members-only preview days beginning Monday, June 22, 2020, as a thank you to members for their support and commitment throughout the closure. On Monday, June 29, 2020, the general public is invited back to the Zoo. The Zoo will be open all seven days of the week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The last timed admission is at 2:30 p.m.; Zoo grounds close each day at 4:30 p.m.
For the health and safety of guests and Zoo staff, the Zoo will limit the number of guests in order to encourage social distancing. Guests will be required to purchase tickets in advance. Tickets will be available online soon. As per Arkansas Department of Health guidelines guests will also be required to wear masks when visiting the Zoo.
The Zoo has also implemented several other new protocols to help ensure guests’ safety. These protocols include enhanced sanitation procedures, reduced touch points, and the creation of a one-way foot traffic flow. In addition, the Zoo will follow the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Arkansas Department of Health along with those outlined by the City of Little Rock. Each of these measures is designed to help promote health and provide a great guest experience.
“The entire Little Rock Zoo family from the staff, volunteers, and even the animals have been anxiously awaiting the day we could reopen,” said Zoo Director, Susan Altrui. “We have missed our members, friends, and guests. We ask that the public please follow guidelines so we can stay open and keep guests safe. We want everyone to come back to the Zoo and enjoy it safely.”
Altrui added, “We are elated to have everyone back here for the first time since March. We invite all guests to experience the excitement of seeing our amazing animals, enjoy a walk within the grounds, and visit with a few of the Zoo’s newest residents: Dory, the baby penguin; Kasih, the baby orangutan, and our baby sloth bear Zaara.”
The Zoo will have signage throughout the grounds encouraging social distancing and proper hygiene. Additionally, staff will be performing frequent cleaning and disinfecting of common touch points and restroom facilities.
Other helpful information to know before a visit to the Zoo:
- Anyone age 10 or older is required to wear a face mask covering their nose and mouth, as per guidelines established by the Arkansas Department of Health.
- Additional hand sanitizing stations have been set up throughout the Zoo.
- Café Africa, the gift shop, indoor animal areas, the carousel and train are closed until further notice.
- A one-way path has been created to help reduce pathway congestion.
- An online map will be available on smart devices by scanning a QR code at entry.
- All restrooms will be open, and will be cleaned and disinfected every two hours.
- All handrails, benches, and touchable surfaces will be disinfected every two hours.
- Wagons, strollers and electric scooters are available for rent and will be disinfected before and after each use.
To view the Little Rock Zoo’s reopening plan approved by the Arkansas Department of Health, click here.
To view Guidelines for Large Outdoor Venues established by the Arkansas Department of Health, click here.
For those who are not quite ready to return to the Zoo, the Zoo will continue to broadcast its 2 p.m. Virtual Safari Keeper Chat each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday via the Little Rock Zoo Facebook page.