The Little Rock Zoo will reopen at the end of June with a phased plan that includes coronavirus-related measures that incorporate limited capacity, one-way paths and touchless ticketing.
The zoo plans to allow members to visit beginning June 22 and will reopen to the rest of the public June 29, director Susan Altrui told the zoo’s Board of Governors during a meeting Monday.
Altrui said the zoo’s reopening plan took into account recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Arkansas Department of Health and the city, as well as a capacity formula from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
The zoo will allow a maximum of 2,760 individuals to visit each day, which is about one-tenth of the maximum capacity. Altrui said officials felt one-third capacity, which the state Department of Health initially recommended for Arkansas’ first phase of reopening, was too many people.
Daily admissions will be broken into timed entry slots, letting in a maximum of 250 people every 30 minutes. Visitors will be able to purchase tickets online in advance, and the electronic ticket will be scanned at the entrance.
Most of the zoo’s paths will be limited to one-way traffic.
During the first phase, the cafe, gift shop, playgrounds, tropical birdhouse, naked mole rat exhibit, feeding farm, carousel and lorikeet area will be closed.
The timeline for when the zoo will move into its second and third phases of reopening will depend on staff’s comfort level with the capacity, Altrui said.
The plan has been approved by the state Department of Health, and the Board of Governors passed a motion to support it Monday.