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

Time to social distance with a giraffe

UPDATE: FEBRUARY 16, 2021 – The L.A. Zoo is welcoming the public again after a second shut down during the worst of the winter surge.

As was the case when the zoo was open from late August to early December, visits are a bit different than they were before the pandemic. You’ll need to book a timed reservation online before arriving, follow one-way paths through the facility, maintain distance, and, obviously, wear your mask (or masks). A handful of food and drink vendors will be operating, but all consumption needs to be done while sitting in an area nearby, not walking the grounds.

Some exhibits and activities will be closed or modified, so be sure to be patient and respectful of all postage signage and direction from zoo staff.

AUGUST 26, 2020 – 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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