02 July 2020

It’s now been three weeks since the zoo opened… and it’s been a period in our history that we’ll never forget.

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We’ve all been getting used to new ways of working, new ways of behaving, mobilising a brand new welcome team whose specific role is to help with social distancing and try to ensure that everyone has a fab, safe day out, all while battling torrential rain and blazing sunshine.

We hope that those of you who have visited have had a brilliant time – whatever the weather.

We’ve made as many booking slots available as we possibly can but, with a far lesser capacity to what we’d usually be be able to offer at this time of year, we absolutely understand there may still be frustration, particularly for our amazing members who, in our time of need, have given us the most incredible support. All we can say right now is please, please continue to bear with us. We have everything crossed that we’ll be able to get back to normal for you really soon but we can only do that once we know it will be safe.

This week, as new changes to the government guidance comes in to play on Saturday (4 July), we’re now able to open up some of our largest and most popular indoor animal habitats. We’re taking things slowly, and carefully, starting with our Tropical Realm, Realm of the Red Ape, Monkey and Jaguar houses. Whilst we’re still recommending 2m social distancing at the zoo, we’ve installed some additional advice about measures we can put in place to enable 1m + social distancing in those few areas where it’s a little trickier to always keep 2m distances.

Along with our food and beverage kiosks and Manado Street Kitchen we are now able to open June’s restaurant for takeaway foods and The Oakfield for pre-booked, sit down dining. The main shop will reopen too. Again, there are special arrangements in place to help keep your safe so please check our website before you visit to find out what those are.

Those visitors who’ve been to the zoo will notice that work is ongoing to reopen Monsoon Forest and create a new South American Wetland Aviary, which will be an incredible new home to an array of bird species, including stunning flamingos. These were projects that were committed to and paid for before the pandemic hit and we hope you’ll be pleased with the results. Due to the now well-documented, ongoing financial challenges we’re facing, other projects have sadly been put on hold for the foreseeable future, including Grasslands – our major project which was due to open in 2022.

Other visitors have commented on the transformation of the old lion habitat close to The Oakfield which is now a fabulous picnic lawn – we’ve named it Stables Lawn. The removal of the monorail from this part of the zoo has made a huge difference and we’re definitely enjoying the additional picnic space, which is helping with social distancing.

We know that a visit to the zoo isn’t for everyone right now. It’s potentially a busier space than people have been used to during lockdown. So, we’s like to make a plea to all of our visitors – please look out for those people who want and need more space to move around. Please be patient if there’s a queue or if people (usually with little legs) are taking a little longer to walk along a pathway. By being really respectful of social distancing and giving people plenty of space we can make the zoo experience much more enjoyable for everyone and now, with more of our indoor spaces to enjoy, you’ll have even more to play with, and even more to do and see.

The fight isn’t over for us just yet,

WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP.

Thank you for all your support so far. Thanks for supporting us through donations, adoptions, fundraising and writing to your MP to help SAVE OUR ZOO. From the bottom of our hearts – thank you. There are still tough times ahead, but thanks for bearing with us.

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