After self-imposed winter breaks, Chicago’s zoos are reopening to guests, with a number of safety precautions in place due to the coronavirus.
Broofield Zoo began welcoming visitors Monday and Lincoln Park Zoo will follow suit Friday. Both zoos had opted to close during January and February, months that typically see dips in attendance and fewer animals active in outdoor enclosures.
To control the number of people on site and allow for social distancing, both zoos now require people to reserve tickets in advance online. Lincoln Park Zoo will release new blocks of tickets every Sunday and Thursday at 4:30 p.m. Masks must be worn upon entry.
Indoor spaces, apart from restrooms, remain closed, as do attractions such as train rides. Brookfield has gone cashless, which visitors should keep in mind if they intend to buy food, drinks or souvenirs.
But changes aren’t limited to policies and procedures. New furry faces are on hand at Brookfield to greet guests, including Hope, a 5-year-old polar bear; Sasha, a 4-month-old Amur leopard cub; and mother-daughter Mexican wolves, Sibi and Lorena.