Updated: June 15, 2020 08:20 PM
Created: June 15, 2020 07:36 PM
(ABC 6 NEWS) - The Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo has reopened after being closed due to COVID-19 for several months.
"It's just a beautiful day to be out, and so I thought I'd bring my kids out," visitor, Megan Kruger said, "It's great. I mean with all of this chaos going on in this world today. It is nice to be able to be out in the general public again. Seeing the zoo animals, my kids love the zoo animals."
The zoo was able to reopen and welcome back many visitors with plenty of room to social distance on Saturday.
"It's actually really great to be back open because we are seeing people get out again, see our animals again because that is very important. And our animals need it too. They have been without people around except for us who they are used to. So it is good all around," Naturalist, Clarissa Schrooten said.
"A lot of people come up to the fence and go gosh it is all outside. Which is true it is outside, so we are fortunate that we can have that easy spacing. We have lots of green space," Schrooten said.
Most things in the zoo are the same except the Nature Center is closed and some precautions are being taken.
"The other change that you are going to see is the wildcat exhibit. We do have barriers around it, we still encourage people to come up. We are just creating that six-foot of barrier range," Schrooten said.
Wildcats are susceptible to COVID-19 so employees said the barriers were the safest option for the zoo. "So us as keepers, we are wearing our masks when we are in there and working with the animals. Since we are in closer quarters when we are in the back. or in their enclosure to make sure that they are safe," Schrooten said.
Not only do they want the animals to be safe, but visitors too. "You can find we have QR codes located throughout the zoo and at the entrance. And we are doing virtual education. Because it is so ingrained in us and we are still providing that service. We will continue virtual education through the summer and who knows how long after that," Schrooten said. This is just one way they are avoiding possible gathering of crowds.
This is one way that visitors can get back outside, see some animals, and learn.
The zoo is open daily 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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