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Dallas, Fort Worth zoos to reopen May 29

Indoor exhibits will be closed, per the state's Phase 2 reopening guidelines.
Credit: WFAA

The Fort Worth Zoo and Dallas Zoo announced Tuesday that they will reopen their doors to the public on May 29 with health and safety measures in place.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that zoos can reopen with 25% capacity and guidelines to keep guests and employees safe.

Both zoos are requiring guests to make reservations and purchase tickets online in advance. Both zoos will have signage to remind guests of handwashing, wearing masks and social distancing.

Employees will clean bathrooms and high-touch areas like handrails, viewing glass and door handles.

Indoor exhibits will be closed, per the state's guidelines.

RELATED: Here's how Texas youth sports, camps, zoos, daycares and more can reopen during Phase 2

Fort Worth

At the Fort Worth Zoo, guests must make online reservations prior to their visit.

The zoo will also close indoor exhibits, limit capacity at restaurants and stores to 25%, increase handwashing stations and increase the cleaning of frequently touched surfaces throughout the zoo.

There will be extended summer hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

“We’re excited to welcome families back to the Zoo, to give them the opportunity to get outside and reconnect with wildlife,” said Michael Fouraker, the Zoo’s executive director. “We have made a number of changes and improvements that will allow us to make a safe start on this new season.”

Dallas Zoo

The Dallas Zoo will reopen May 29. Guests must pay for parking online in advance, along with purchasing tickets and making reservations online to keep person-to-person interactions at a minimum.

Every person visiting the zoo over the age of 2 is required to wear a face mask because of the city's policy for city facilities, including the zoo.

There will also be 65 hand sanitizing stations throughout the zoo.

The zoo also laid out one-way only paths in certain areas to allow for appropriate social distancing.

Animal care staff is working on staggered schedules to insulate teams should a possible virus exposure occur.

"Additionally, all of our zoologists, managers, nutritionists and veterinarian staff will continue using personal protective equipment (PPE) anytime they are working with our animals, their food, or anything else with which the animals may come in contact," the zoo said.

Third-party occupational health and safety scientists were brought in to review the reopening plan and safety protocols.

"It was important to us to be able to validate the planning we had done,” said Gregg Hudson, CEO and president of Dallas Zoo. “We are experts at operating the Zoo and keeping our guests and staff safe in many situations. But when it comes to dealing with the recovery from a global pandemic, we thought it was prudent to seek additional guidance from a seasoned team of scientists and occupational safety specialists.”

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