Whipsnade Zoo will be reopening on Monday after three months of closure
- Credit: Archant
Whipsnade Zoo will re-open on Monday after the government eased the lockdown rules.
ZSL’s resident animals are fluffing up their feathers and stretching their legs as they prepare to swing open the gates on Monday 15 June and welcome visitors back after three months of closure.
Run by international conservation charity ZSL, Whipsnade Zoo is home to hundreds of threatened species, many of which are part of international conservation breeding programmes including Asian elephants, white rhinos, sloth bears and Amur tigers.
Visitors will be able to see the new-borns that the zoo welcomed during lockdown, including 14 extinct-in-the-wild Pere David Deer fawns, a Yak calf named Ginny, five wild boar piglets and a newly-hatched wattled crane.
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo chief operating officer Owen Craft said: “We are so excited to welcome visitors back and see people interacting with our animals once again.
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“We know that people have missed us, and we’ve certainly missed them. We are looking forward to welcoming our members, neighbours and wildlife-lovers alike back to our nature haven. Families will be able to explore our vast park, breathe in fresh air and let the kids explore nature safely.”
Located on the Chiltern Hills, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is a vast 600-acres where visitors can enjoy their day on foot or they can drive across visiting the resident animals along the way.
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Regular visitors will notice some changes to their usual zoo visit, as the zoo has worked hard to ensure its visitors can maintain social distancing and enjoy a safe day out, including using contactless entry points and takeaway service only from the zoo’s popular restaurants.
Owen added: “We’ve been working hard on adaptions across the 600-acre site to ensure all our visitors can enjoy their day safely. We’ve added floor markings to clearly indicate two metres and will be allowing entry only to those who have pre-booked so that we can manage numbers.”
Indoor exhibits including the Butterfly House and Aquarium will remain closed in order to comply with social distancing guidelines, and visitors will be encouraged to maintain the recommended space from other guests while visiting the Zoo. There will be increased handwashing facilities restrooms will be open with a new queuing system, while picnic benches will be cleaned regularly to ensure visitors can enjoy a relaxing picnic during their visit.
He continued: “Although we are able to allow limited visitors back to our zoo we are still working hard to recover the income lost during the closure.
“We’ve been overawed by the loyalty and support shown to us during lockdown, and we ask that people continue to help us once we reopen – be that by purchasing an annual membership, doing their own fundraising challenge or making a donation, it all helps fund our science and conservation work and ensures our remarkable zoo continues to preserve and care for precious wildlife.”
The zoo will be releasing 3000 tickets a day for visitors.
To book tickets online visit ZSL Whipsnade Zoo from Monday June 15 visit www.zsl.org