UTICA, N.Y. – The Utica Zoo will open its doors to visitors once again when New York begins Phase 4 of reopening, which is scheduled to start Friday.
Officials say the zoo will be open to members only for the first week, from June 29 – July 1, and then open to the general public on July 2.
There will be new restrictions and safety measures in place for employees and visitors, including:
- Face masks or coverings are required, except in the concession area.
- Capacity will be capped at 33% which is approximately 500 visitors at a time.
- One-way routes will be implemented and QR coded maps and directional signage will assist visitors in navigating the route.
- The two inside barns at children’s zoo and reptile hall will not be accessible.
- There will be extra restrooms, more handwashing stations, and the public touch areas throughout the zoo will be sanitized daily.
Executive Director Andria Heath says the zoo has made it through the pandemic thanks to community support in the form of donations and fundraisers.
“Whether it was bottle and cans donations, monetary contributions, in kind contributions, giving us encouragement and cheering us on in our social media sites; and we still have this amazing donor, our friend, Joan Sinnott, who is actually matching all contributions up to $20,000 a month, every month until Oct. 31. Every single gift -- large or small -- will be matched,” she said.
The zoo will be open seven days per week, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will stay open until 8 p.m. on Fridays starting July 10.