INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Zoo is usually open year-round, but thanks to the coronavirus, the zoo has been without guests for three months.
“We closed in March and are just thrilled to open back up,” said Melanie Laurendine, Conservation PR Specialist with the Indianapolis Zoo.
During the off time, on top of taking care of animals, employees came up with a plan to reopen the gates.
“Reopening plans have been going on for a long time,” Laurendine said. “Obviously we had to follow the guidelines from the CDC, our governor, and our mayor.”
Part of that plan includes reserving a time with your ticket to prevent lines and crowds at the front gate.
“We also want them to stay in their car in the parking lot with their group until their time to come in, to make sure we can have six feet social distancing,” Laurendine said.
Inside, that reminder is also posted everywhere along with tape on the ground signifying six feet distance in lines. Other new rules are also meant to keep people apart.
“Our cafe is closed, but they can get food at their outdoor locations,” Laurendine said. “We have one way in and one way out traffic flow for our exhibits.”
Marion County is a week behind the rest of the state in reopening. Along with tourism sites like the zoo opening at 50% capacity, bars can open at 50% capacity and restaurants can increase to 75% capacity.
All playgrounds and rides at the zoo remain closed. Masks are encouraged but not required. All purchases will be cashless, and health screens should be done before you visit.
“If you’re showing cold or flu-like symptoms, or a temperature of over 100.4, we’d rather you stay at home,” Laurendine said.
Laurendine says tickets are selling fast, but there is still plenty of space available.
With 50% capacity, the zoo has room for about 3,000 people at a time.