Coming soon, one more option for outdoor family entertainment with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions: The Palm Beach Zoo is reopening next week.
Meanwhile, Lion Country Safari already has reopened on a limited basis.
The zoo, with more than 500 animals on 23 acres in West Palm Beach’s Dreher Park, closed March 18 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now it is having a member-only pre-opening week from Monday to June 4, and will be open to the entire public starting June 5.
Like other businesses, post-pandemic, the zoo is initiating changes. They include limited capacity, and no tickets or memberships sold on-site during the member preview. Members will need to show their membership cards and a photo ID.
The general public will be allowed to buy tickets at the gate.
The zoo is limiting the number of guests at any one time to one per every 100 square feet. It’s possible some visitors could be temporarily denied admittance in order to limit capacity, but be allowed in minutes later once a few guests inside leave.
Among the other changes:
Some exhibits will be closed, including the carousel, train, observatory, café, aviary, butterfly garden and bronze statues because of physical distancing concerns.
A one-way path will wind throughout the zoo in the Florida Wetlands, Tropics of the Americas and The Islands in order to facilitate physical distancing.
There will be no animal talks and animal experiences.
No strollers or wheelchair rentals will be available. Guests may bring their own.
Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the zoo.
A small gift shop near the entrance will be closed, but the larger, open-air shop will be open.
Zoo staff will wear masks, and guests are encouraged but not required to do likewise. Food service will be available at the walk-up window adjacent to the café. There also will be food carts in the Fountain Plaza. And the chlorinated splash pad in Fountain Plaza will be open, with the caveat that physical distancing of at least 6 feet should be observed.
As for the three Malayan tiger cubs born May 12, they are doing well but won’t be ready for their public debut until late summer.