Nashville Zoo reopens with limited attendance amid the pandemic

Posted at 4:36 PM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 07:00:08-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Nashville Zoo is back open for business with limited attendance after being closed for months during the pandemic.

Masks are required for everyone except kids 3-years-old and younger.

“One thing we want people to know is you have to get your ticket before you come out to the zoo," Jim Bartoo said.

Visitors have to reserve time slots online. This will help the zoo space people out and stay at half capacity. “You’ll see social distancing signs and reminders throughout the park you’ll see one way signs that kind of keep people moving in the same direction.”

Giraffes, monkeys, and flamingos welcomed members on Monday after the zoo was closed for 3 months. “Today was sold out.”

They created lanes to encourage people to stay apart. They’re also cleaning rides in-between every group, and taking additional safety precautions.

“All employees were checked on the way into work so we have a back gate that all our employees go into and we have a security guard that’s taking their temperatures,” Bartoo said.

Guests can bring their own food, or get take-out at the Zoofari cafe. “We covered every other one to kind of keep people spaced out.”

People can walk around as they please, but the shows have been canceled for the time being so people don’t cluster together. As they adapt to the changes and make adjustments, the zoo is open to just members until Thursday when the general public can come back.

“We’re happy to be open," Bartoo said.

Some inside areas, the jungle gym, the Historic Grassmere home, and the wilderness express train are currently closed because they’re high contact areas.