FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The Fort Wayne Childeren’s Zoo opens this Sunday, June 14, about two months after it’s originally scheduled opening date.
The first three weeks of Zoo operations will be exclusive, members only access and will be limited to 4,300 guests per day according to Executive Director Jim Anderson. Members, who are also season ticket holders will be using a “timed ticket” entry to enable limiting of guests across the day.
Anderson told WOWO News that the staff has been working diligently to get safety protocols in place and that they “can’t wait to finally welcome guests to the Zoo”. Some changes that visitors will see is that Zoo personnel will be wearing masks, drinking fountains will be closed, and staff members will be cleaning high touch points regularly. Contactless card transactions and multiple sanitizing stations are also part of the safety features at the Zoo.
Zoo staff and the animals are ready for visitors according to Anderson, who says that Meeko, the newest member of the North American River Otter family will be a very popular attraction.
July 4th is the anticipated re-opening of the Zoo to the public at-large as Indiana is anticipated to fully re-open that day.
The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is northeast Indiana’s largest tourist attraction, hosting more than 600,000 guests annually. The zoo was voted Indiana’s #1 “Gotta-Do Summer Attraction” and is consistently named one of the nation’s Top Ten Zoos for Kids by national media outlets.
The Zoo is a conservation leader, contributing more than $280,000 annually to local, regional, and international efforts to protect wild animals and habitats. The Zoo cares for more than 1400 animals and participates in 63 cooperative species survival plans.
As a self-supporting facility, the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo receives no tax dollars for operations. The zoo’s operations are funded entirely by earned revenue and donations.
The Zoo will open for the 2019 season April 27, 2019. Zoo hours are 9 am to 5 pm daily. The Zoo comes alive after 5 – Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day, extended hours until 7 pm daily.