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Zoo New England Announces Reopening of Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo with New Health and Safety Measures in Place

Following its temporary closure in mid-March due to the global health pandemic, Zoo New England is officially reopening this month with new health and safety measures in place. Franklin Park Zoo will reopen on May 28, followed by Stone Zoo on May 30. Both Zoos will reopen first to members, with “Member Appreciation Days” running through June 3. The Zoos will reopen to the general public starting on Thursday, June 4.

“Care is at the heart of everything we do here at Zoo New England, and our team has been spending a lot of time over the past many weeks planning for how to re-open as safely as possible to protect the health and wellbeing of our visitors, staff and animals,” said John Linehan, President and CEO of Zoo New England. “Both Franklin Park and Stone Zoo offer expansive outdoor spaces with plenty of room for social distancing while learning about many of the incredible species that call our Zoos home. While all of our animals have continued to receive excellent care during the closure, both our staff and animals have missed our guests, and we are all very excited to open our gates to visitors once again with new protocols in place.”

New health and safety measures that have been implemented include online and timed ticketing, guest capacity limits, one-way paths to control guest flow, clearly designated 6-foot distance markers, enhanced cleaning protocols, more hand sanitizer stations throughout the Zoos, and COVID-19 training for all staff.

Guests to the Zoo will be required to purchase tickets online for a designated time slot, and there will be no re-entry once admitted into the Zoo. Members are also required to reserve their time slot prior to their visit. Online tickets for the general public will be available for purchase beginning on June 1.

Guests and staff are required to wear face coverings, and adhere to 6-foot social distancing while on Zoo grounds. Most all of the pathways at Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo are now one way with clear path markers for guests to follow.

For the first phase of opening, guests can enjoy an Outdoor Safari Walk at the Zoos, as indoor buildings remain closed. At Franklin Park Zoo, guests will be able to see the lions and tigers at the Kalahari Kingdom/Tiger Tales exhibit; red kangaroos and emus at the Outback Trail; the prairie dogs and red pandas at the Nature’s Neighborhoods Children’s Zoo; the zebras, ostrich and warthogs at Serengeti Crossing; the giraffes and Grevy’s zebra at the Giraffe Savannah, and much more. At Stone Zoo, guests can see the flamingos and bush dogs at the Caribbean Coast; the black bears, arctic fox and reindeer in Yukon Creek; the snow leopards and markhor goats in the Himalayan Highlands, as well as the new pack of Mexican gray wolf brothers, North American river otters, white-cheeked gibbons and more. In accordance with public guidance, the playgrounds and play structures at both zoos must remain closed during this first phase of reopening.

While these have been challenging and unprecedented times, Zoo New England remains committed to its mission to protect and sustain the natural world for future generations. Our field conservation work on behalf of rare and threatened species in eastern Massachusetts has continued throughout our closure. The Zoos’ animal care staff has been on grounds at Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo every day since the closure, providing healthy diets, enrichment activities, veterinary care, and the human interaction the animals look forward to when the gates are open. Everyone at the Zoo, including the animals, looks forward to welcoming guests back this summer.