The L.A. Zoo Reopens After a Long Pandemic Break

Time to social distance with a giraffe

After closing its gates to the public back in March, the L.A. Zoo is finally allowing visitors back in. You’ll notice a few changes, but all your favorite wild creatures are ready to welcome you.

Reopening has required a great deal of care and planning. In addition to concerns about keeping guests, staff, and other humans safe while at the zoo, COVID-19 also presents a risk to the rare wild animals the zoo works to conserve. At a single zoo in New York city, more than a dozen lions and tigers have tested positive for the virus so far, and experts have long observed the ease with which apes can catch respiratory illnesses from human carriers.

la zoo open social distancing

Photo: Jamie Pham / Courtesy L.A. Zoo

With that in mind, your visit to the L.A. Zoo will (obviously) require a mask at all times for every visitor over the age of two, and demand groups observe physical distance. Other changes include updates to certain exhibits and traffic patterns and a preference for cash-free payments.

Some exhibits and activities remain closed for the time being, particularly those considered “high touch” or that put visitors into the most direct contact with animals or staff. You won’t be hand-feeding giraffes, riding a carousel, or having your face painted. A full list of what is open and closed can be found on the L.A. Zoo website.

One of the most substantial changes is that the L.A. Zoo now requires booking timed tickets online in advance of your visit (member tickets will remain free of charge, but still require advance booking). The number of visitors allowed at any given time will be capped to make sure everyone–human and otherwise–can enjoy the experience safely.

RELATED: Without Visitors Around, the Animals at the L.A. Zoo Are Living It Up

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