Fort Worth Zoo re-opens with new protocols

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The Fort Worth Zoo is welcoming guests again, though it has put in place new health and safety protocols.

The zoo closed to visitors for a little more than two months.

“Nobody really expected a complete shutdown,” said Avery Elander, the assistant director of public relations. “When the governor issued his order that things needed to be closed, we certainly closed; we closed our doors to visitors, but our staff had to come every single day to feed and care for the animals and maintain the park.”

The shutdown allowed the staff do things with the animals they would not be able to do with guests in the park. For example, they took animals out of their exhibits and walked them around to see other animals they would never get to see.

Fans of the zoo were able to follow along on some of these adventures through the zoo’s social media accounts.

Now that visitors are allowed to enter, they have to follow new protocols, including mandatory face coverings, extra hand washing stations and online reservations.

Despite all of the changes, some of the hands-on experiences the zoo offers are still able to be enjoyed.

“You are able to do some of those interactive things like feed the giraffes, go touch and feed our stingrays; you can also go into the petting ranch area where you can interact with the goats and the sheep,” Elander said.

For guests who still might not be comfortable entering the park, the zoo is offering a handful of new virtual programs.

“Whether you have a school group or club that’s getting ready to meet, and you guys are still meeting virtually, we can drop in on your zoom call,” Elander said. “We can have a number of animals and a keeper that you can interact with one-on one with.”

For more information visit the Fort Wort Zoo website.