The Nashville Zoo reopening indoor exhibits today

Posted at 8:38 AM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 09:38:35-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Nashville Zoo is lifting some restrictions and reopening its indoor exhibits for the first time in a year.

The area reopening Friday is called the "Unseen New World," and it's definitely something worth seeing. When you walk in, you'll experience a variety of things – from frogs, to exotic fish to iguanas, snakes and other reptiles.

Since this is indoors, several safety protocols are in place:

  • People will have to wear masks and social distance.
  • Only a certain number can be in the building at once.
  • Everyone walks in the same direction throughout the exhibit and barriers have been put up in between to stop anyone from crossing over.

This is also one of the oldest and most popular attractions here, so the zoo is happy to have it back and it could not have come at a better time.

Like so many other places, the Nashville Zoo has struggled to stay afloat the past year. The zoo did have to close for a few months last year when the pandemic began.

That was hard because managers say they typically get a lot of business around springtime. In June, they did reopen with limited capacity, but things were still difficult and that led to financial hardships.

At that time, only a certain number of people were allowed in and many indoor attractions had to close. To add to the struggle, the zoo still had to take care of the animals, which is costly.

Now with this indoor exhibit back open a year later, the zoo is getting back on track.

"Anybody in the entertainment industry, took a major hit, and that includes the zoos. So, we are very happy to be open. We've been fortunate to be open since June. And now we're even happier we're able to open more areas of the park for people to experience,” said Jim Bartoo, Nashville Zoo Marketing and Public Relations Director.

Tickets to the zoo must be purchased in advance because they are still keeping an eye on how many people are here at once. Also new today, the zoo is expanding its hours, and it will be open until 6 p.m.