The Louisville Zoo is excited to announce that it will begin its reopening on Friday, June 12, 2020, following the temporary closure in response to COVID-19. The initial reopening phase will be for members only. The Zoo will reopen to general admission ticket purchasers on Friday, June 26, 2020. It will operate with a reduced capacity of 100 guests per hour.
“We are excited to reopen and offer families a healthy, socially distanced outdoor space to relax and reconnect with one another and wildlife,” said Zoo Director John Walczak. “Our first priority continues to be the safety and health of our guests, staff and animals. Guests will notice staff wearing masks, disinfecting high-touch areas and sharing gentle reminders on social distancing. Thank you in advance for your patience while we work to navigate these uncharted waters and expand capacity once it is safer to do so.”
Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 for members only. Tickets for general admission will go on sale on Saturday, June 20, 2020. Everyone, including members, must reserve tickets online at LouisvilleZoo.org/tickets. No one will be admitted without a ticket. Members and guests will be asked to choose their date and hour of arrival. This will to help to reduce contact and manage guest capacity. Tickets will be valid for the assigned date and time only. In order to accommodate the most guests, the Zoo requests that members limit their visits to one per week during this initial phase. The special ticketing policy, including frequently asked questions, is available at louisvillezoo.org/together.
Over the past few days, the Louisville Zoo has experienced several technical difficulties with its webstore, which is the third-party ticket purchasing website. In response, the Zoo made the decision today to allow members to still submit ticket reservation requests but using an alternative method.
Members may visit louisvillezoo.org/membertickets to fill out a reservation request. Requests will be fulfilled in the order they are received until tickets are sold out. Submission of this form does not guarantee tickets. If tickets for one of your choices are available, you will receive the tickets by email as soon as they can be processed.
On Thursday, June 11, there were a total of 3,486 membership reservation requests submitted, equating to over 13,889 tickets requested. All members able to attend the Zoo Friday, June 12 were notified Thursday evening, via email.
The Louisville Zoo will officially reopen tomorrow, Friday, June 12 at 9:30 a.m. All other reservation request submissions will be processed beginning tomorrow, Friday, June 12, and all ticket recipients will be notified. If tickets are available after all submissions have been processed, an announcement will be made detailing which dates and times are still available. Persons without a ticket will not be admitted to the Zoo.
The technical issues beginning Wednesday, June 10, were caused by a system overload from an influx of Zoo members in the Louisville community trying to purchase tickets, following the Zoo’s 12 week long closing in response to COVID-19.
The Zoo has remained in communication with the Mayor’s office and the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness throughout the COVID-19 response and has closely worked with them on the reopening. The Zoo will be following the latest safety guidelines.
Staff will have mandatory temperature checks as they arrive to work. All staff in public areas will wear masks. We will be strongly encouraging guests to wear masks as well. Zoo keepers will continue to wear masks around vulnerable animal populations.
The Zoo will be cleaning and disinfecting high-touch areas frequently. All of the restrooms will be open with step-and-pull entry or touchless access. Zoo staff and markers will be present to help encourage social distancing.
In order to encourage social distancing, guests will be asked to follow a one-way route through the Zoo. Indoor exhibit areas will not be open during the initial reopening phase. The Wild Walk trail will take guests through popular exhibits like the Islands, the Americas, Glacier Run and Gorilla Forest. Along the way, guests will be able to see Sunni and Sebastian in the Zoo’s new sloth exhibit and the elephant calf, Fitz. In the coming months, the Zoo hopes to reopen indoor exhibits, rides and playgrounds.
There will be limited menus available at select outdoor food kiosks throughout the Zoo, as well as water bottle refill stations. Outdoor picnic areas have been arranged to ensure social distancing.
The Get Healthy Walking Club presented by Norton Healthcare will also return on Friday, June 26, 2020. Walking Club hours are 8 – 9:15 a.m., before the Zoo opens. This program will also operate on a reduced capacity and first-come basis. It will be closed to new members during this initial reopening phase.
The Louisville Zoo season is sponsored by Ford Motor Company and T-Mobile.