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Utah’s Hogle Zoo reopening Saturday with restrictions

(Photo credit: Hogle Zoo)

SALT LAKE CITY — Life is going to get a little closer to normal at Utah’s Hogle Zoo on Saturday, May 2, the date of the Hogle Zoo reopening.

But there will be restrictions on how many people can be in the park, which ways they’ll walk through the zoo and what they will wear.

“We feel really confident in reopening,” said Erica Hansen of the Hogle Zoo, “but it does come with a little trepidation.”

Hansen spoke on Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News on Wednesday after the zoo’s announcement was made.

“We’ve been closed for 50 days now, so we’ve gotten used to this ’empty zoo routine,’ but, boy, are we itching to open our gates,” Hansen said.

What to expect at the zoo reopening 

Things are going to look different at the zoo, come Saturday.  Hansen says there will be an alternate entrance and distancing markers throughout the zoo. 

Guests will have to purchase timed tickets, meaning they agree to come at a certain time and will only be allowed to enter at that time. Guests will only be allowed to stay for two hours.

Only a certain number of guests will be on zoo property at any given time, Hansen said. Concessions will be sold through walk-up windows only. Items typically found in the gift shops will be offered via kiosks.

Only the outdoor exhibits will be open.

And everybody, zoo employees as well as guests, will be wearing masks.

What about the animals?

The animals that live at the zoo have been without visitors for nearly two months. And how they may react to their return is an unknown, says Hansen.

“A lot of the species [like the primates] are very tuned in to when we have guests,” Hansen told Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News. “There are definitely some species that will notice and appreciate having all of their favorite friends come back.”

Other species, Hansen said, don’t care one way or the other.