Edmonton Valley Zoo to reopen in June with new public health rules in place

The Edmonton Valley Zoo is preparing to reopen on June 15, three months to the day it closed in the public health fight against COVID-19. 

“We can’t say for sure whether or not the animals have noticed a lack of visitors, but they are being cared for by a full team of zookeepers and are getting plenty of individual attention,” said Lindsey Galloway, the Valley Zoo’s Director. 

Physical distancing in effect

Visitors will notice operating restrictions designed to continue protecting everyone’s health. 

The zoo will cap capacity at 50 per cent. 90 ticket holders will be allowed in every 30 minutes. Ticket sales will be online only. The route through the zoo will be a one-way flow. Visitors will be encouraged to wear masks, especially when indoors. 

Zookeeper Joelle brushes Dolly, a Bactrian camel, April 1, 2020, in weather that for a few moments this morning resembled today’s.

Since the first day of the temporary closure, the Zoo’s animals have been cared for by the usual team of dedicated staff. 

“The care of our animals at the Edmonton Valley Zoo is a top priority,” said Galloway. 

Here’s a quick look at a sloth having a snack on April 3. Or a slow look, as it were. 

On April 28, a Sichuan takin named Lei gave birth to baby Xinxing.

Xinxing with Lei

Public safety

Interim City Manager Adam Laughlin told a physically distanced meeting of City Council that provincial guidelines have cleared the way for the zoo’s reopening. 

“As an accredited Alberta Museum Association member and an outdoor contained experience, the Edmonton Valley Zoo fits within Stage 1 reopening activities,” said Laughlin.

“There is a compelling financial, public health and public safety and social case to be made for reopening with restrictions, effective June 15.” 

Editor’s note: The pic at the top of the post shows Xinxing, a baby Sichuan takin born at the Edmonton Valley Zoo on April 28.