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Denver Zoo announces reopening date and changes

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After being closed since March 17 to help protect the community from the spread of COVID-19, Denver Zoo will reopen for Member Gratitude Days on Wednesday, June 10 and Thursday, June 11. Tickets for all other guests are on sale now for entry beginning Friday, June 12.

In accordance with the latest guidance from Local and State officials, the Zoo has implemented sweeping operational changes to create a healthy environment, and ensure the safety of its guests, employees and animals. These measures include enhanced cleaning procedures, limited lines and crowd sizes, encouraged social distancing, and adherence to strict employee protocols. Additionally, all guests ages 3 and over will be required to wear face masks or coverings as mandated by the City and County of Denver.

“We are beyond thrilled to welcome back our community of friends and neighbors who have stood by our side and provided such crucial, meaningful support while we were closed,” said Bert Vescolani, President and CEO of Denver Zoo. “But we remain vigilant in our obligation to protect this community, and have gone through exhaustive planning and preparation so that our guests can feel safe and comfortable while connecting with our 3,000 animals.”

Following are some of the new measures the Zoo is implementing upon reopening for all members and guests, which will impact nearly every aspect of the guest experience, from purchasing tickets to navigating the Zoo. Guests are highly encouraged to visit prior to visiting for complete details about the Zoo’s modified policies and procedures:

  • Online Ticketing: All tickets must be purchased/reserved online at, including complimentary Member Gratitude Days Tickets, and will not be available for purchase at Denver Zoo. Online tickets are required for all guests, including members (free) and children 2 and under (free). 
  • Limited, Timed Admissions: To support safe physical distancing, the Zoo will limit the number of visitors per day. Timed tickets with staggered 15-minute entry windows will limit the number of guests entering the Zoo at any one time. Admission lines will also be marked for distancing. 
  • Sanitation and Hand-Washing: Restrooms and high-touch areas will be disinfected frequently on a set schedule. Other high-touch surfaces, like tables and chairs, will be cleaned immediately after use. Hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations have been placed throughout campus—including at restrooms, the main Zoo entry and exit, the entry and exit doors of all buildings and all dining areas. 
  • One-Way Campus: A one-way path around the entire campus has been created to allows guests to view a majority of its animal habitats and gardens while maintaining appropriate physical distancing. A “short cut” highlighting a smaller area for shorter visits will also be available. 
  • Zoo Employees: All Zoo employees are required to follow strict protocols in order to maintain the safety of everyone on campus. They will have their temperatures checked prior to starting work, and be required to wear masks and maintain distance of at least 6 feet from guests, volunteers and other employees. 
  • Guest Responsibilities: Guests are asked to do their part in keeping Denver Zoo a safe environment, including staying home if anyone in their family feels sick, maintaining a physical distance of at least 6 feet, washing their hands often, respecting the one-way traffic flow and remaining on approved pathways. All guests ages 3 and over will be required to wear face masks or coverings as mandated by the City and County of Denver.
  • Attractions, Exhibits and Encounters: Regularly scheduled Animal Demonstrations and Encounters have been modified to minimize contact and provide for physical distance.  Buildings, attractions, exhibits and play areas will be closed to keeps guests, staff and animals safe with the exception of our newest attraction, Stingray Cove, opening in mid-June.
  • Shopping and Dining: The Zoo has modified its dining service to comply with all government-mandated COVID-19 safety procedures with regard to the preparation and service of all food and beverage items. Its gift shop, Kibongi Market, will remain open with safety modifications, including one-way traffic flow, distanced displays and available hand sanitizer. Guests can also purchase anytime from the Zoo’s new online gift shop.

Denver Zoo will continue to update its policies and procedures as changes are made at Tickets and other information about the Zoo are available at

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