Dallas Zoo residents thought that humans had gone into hibernation. For nearly three months, the two-legged visitors who daily filled the 106 acres hadn’t shown up. The Zoo staffers still were on hand and tried to explain to the critters that it was due to a closure mandate resulting from something called COVID-19.
TINY TENREC TAKES A DUST BATH: Ever wonder how Stitch the tenrec keeps himself clean? He takes a dust bath! Rubbing sand or dust between his quills helps loosen any foreign objects that may have gotten stuck.Tenrecs may look a lot like hedgehogs, but they're actually more closely related to otter shrews and golden moles! These tiny mammals can be found in Madagascar, and there are nearly 30 different species.📽️ Willd Earth Preschool Assistant Alexandria E.
Posted by Dallas Zoo on Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Winspear went on an adventure in the Wilds of Africa recently. Can you tell the African painted dogs were excited about their new feline friend?🎥 Assistant Animal Ambassador Supervisor Ryanne H.
Posted by Dallas Zoo on Monday, May 11, 2020
Despite not having audiences, the penguins continued to show their swimming talents, Lola the sloth just hung out and Stitch the tenrec enjoyed dust baths. Winspear the cheetah did a social distancing visit with the African painted dogs.
Birthday celebrations still took place for one-year-olds Adanna the 800-lb. hippo and Binturoung siblings Kieo and Tala and four-year-old elephant Ajabu that surprised all when he arrived after his mom showed up here from Africa.
Sure, the giraffes missed the handouts at the Diane and Hal Brierley Giraffe Ridge and the T-Rex Express Mini-Train didn’t chug along.
But new additions have been made to the neighborhood, like Wanda the zebra and male lion Kijani who relocated from Point Arenas, California, and the Fresno Chaffe Zoo, respectively.
And, of course, since it was spring, babies were born like baby boy zebra Keeya and little fella giraffe Kendi.
For his first weigh- in, Salvador the tamandua was just over a pound with a face only a mother could love. Five ibex kids arrived in April. Even the storks got into the birthing activities with the arrival of two yellow-billed storks.
To the happiness of the Zoo-sters, word just made the rounds that change was in the wind come Friday, May 29. The Zoo will be open again for guests, but it will be a different experience to maintain the well-being of the humans. Some of the adjustments include the following:
- Advance online tickets and reservations will be required to help manage the number of guests in the Zoo at one time.
- Protective face coverings will be required in restrooms and other indoor areas.
- More than 65 hand sanitizing stations will be located throughout the Zoo.
- Zoo team members will be wearing protective face coverings. The animals will not.
- Park Ambassadors will remind guests of the need for social distancing to be practiced.
- A path has been created to help control traffic flow. In some areas, the path will be one-way-only.
- Wonders of the Wild wildlife show presented by Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the Cheetah Encounter, and chats at our Wild Encounters Stage will be available for attendances.
- The following areas will remain closed for the time being: Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo (visitors will have access to Children’s Zoo restrooms), Endangered Species Carousel, Bug U!, Prime Meridian Café, Indoor tiger viewing area, Mini Train, Herpetarium, Adventure Safari Monorail, Highland Hippo Hut (open-air hippo habitat viewing remains open), North Gorilla Bunker (other outdoor gorilla viewing will remain open), Gorilla Research Station, Forest Aviary, Serengeti Grill, Giraffe feeding, Simmons Safari Base Camp (open-air Savanna habitat viewing remains open), Zoo Gift Shop (in the meantime, shop online at Shop.DallasZoo.com) and select keeper chats (see DallasZoo.com/Reopen for the full list)
- Each Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., the Zoo will have limited access to senior guests (65+) and those in higher risk categories.
For more hints on how to return to the Zoo, check here.
BTW, if you have a Zoo membership, you can have an early peak by registering here. And if you hustle, you can save 10% on family members and above!
* Photo and video courtesy of the Dallas Zoo