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San Diego Zoo and Safari Park officially open again

When you decide to head down to the park, zoo staff is urging you to check their website to see if there are any restrictions on exhibits you might want to visit.

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Zoo is back open, so what is new, what has changed and what have the animals been doing for the last three months?

On Saturday, it wasn’t just the visitors that were excited about the reopening of the zoo. A zoo trainer told News 8, “It has been interesting watching our animals during the closure. Our orangutans have been extremely interested in our staff members. I’m sure our animals like watching our guests just as much as they like watching them.”

Two hours before the zoo opened, guests started lining up hoping to be the first in line to get a glimpse of the exotic animals they’ve missed so much.

And just like the meerkat who is always on guard, zoo staff are on the lookout for keeping their guests safe. A zookeeper said, “we have had employees on furlough, we have had really extensive training on how to work with this new normal, we’re thrilled to have everything back.”

Dwight Scott is the San Diego Zoo Director, he said so far guests have been doing a good job respecting the rules they’ve put in place for keeping people safe.

“Our guests have been absolutely fantastic, everyone has a mask on everyone has been practicing social distancing everyone has been extremely responsible," he said. 

Extra handwashing stations, increased signage to remind people to social distance and decreased capacity are ways the zoo is keeping people safe. They have even gone as far as placing a barrier in front of the baboon enclosure as there is some evidence that primates might be at risk for COVID-19. Scott says that during the lockdown, the animals have always been their top priority.

Scott added, “But our animal care team we’ve had at 100% since day one. Our commitment to our animals is significant. It’s a responsibility that we need to take care of our animals.”

So whether you’re human or primate, the San Diego Zoo is doing its best to look out for you.

When you decide to head down to the park, zoo staff is urging you to check their website to see if there are any restrictions on exhibits you might want to visit and to see if they’re at capacity already.

RELATED: San Diego Zoo and Safari Park will reopen to public Saturday, June 20

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