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Santa Barbara Zoo reopens Tuesday with new occupants and safety modifications in place

Posted at 8:09 AM, Jun 23, 2020

The Santa Barbara Zoo is reopening to the public with some new safety modifications due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Zoo has been closed for over three months, which gave zoo staff plenty of time to think of ways to safely welcome back the public.

The Zoo opened on Saturday to members, and is now open to the public beginning Tuesday. Daily attendance is being limited, which zoo staff ensures with reservations having to be made ahead of time.

"When people return to the zoo after being closed for 3 months we've made a lot of changes to try to ensure the safety of all of our staff, guest and our animals as well so we have a lot of personal protection equipment," said Misty Gray, Director of Husbandry and Welfare at the Santa Barbara Zoo.

Guests will have to follow one-way traffic in most areas. They have also closed off some high-touch areas and require face masks for all zoo staff and guests entering the park.

During the three month closure, the zoo welcomed some new occupants. A giraffe named Twiga was born, and another baby giraffe is on the way. There are two new lions calling the Santa Barbara Zoo home. Their names are Ralph and Felicia, and both were acquired from separate zoos.

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Twiga, Ralph and Felicia

While being closed during the pandemic, the zoo utilized their social mediapages to keep guests informed on what was happening with their animals. Monty the penguin became a social media star as caretakers created a segment known as "Monty's Adventures".

To find out more about the safety measures in place, or to purchase tickets, visit