canada zoo

Zoos are starting to reopen in Canada and here's what's different now

Zoos in Canada are slowly starting to reopen, but you won't be able to interact with the animals just yet.

On Wednesday, the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg became the first zoo in Canada to reopen it doors after closing down for eight weeks — and it's made some pretty major changes in that time.

Visitors will now find hand sanitizer stations throughout the zoo, shields at food stations, and yellow floor markings to encourage one-way pedestrian traffic.

Play structures, gift shops, and dine-in services will all be closed, although visitors can grab take-out food from the zoo's grill and ice cream shoppe.

The zoo has also scapped high-contact experiences such as stingray feeding and horse wagon rides for the time being.

Meanwhile, the Toronto Zoo will offer Canadians a "drive-thru" safari experience when it eventually reopens.

Visitors will be able to drive along a designated pathway, enjoying the zoo's animals from the comfort of their own vehicle — and maintaing a safe distance from others.

The Calgary Zoo is also gearing up for some major changes.

Last week, the zoo sent out a survey asking people how they felt about a number of social distancing measures, including time-controlled entry, a one-way pedestrian system, and limiting visitors to outdoor exhibits in the early stages.

Over 8,000 people filled in the survey, with many indicating that they would feel comfortable returning to the zoo immediately, so long as adequate social distancing measures were in place.

Canadian zoos and aquariums have been particularly hard hit by this pandemic, primarily because they rely on revenue from a steady flow of visitors to feed their animals.

On Tuesday, the Calgary Zoo was even forced to send both of its Giant Pandas back to China due to a bamboo shortage.

Most zoos in Canada have yet to announce an official reopening date, but if you're missing spending some quality time with animals, you can always check out the gorillas at the Toronto Zoo virtually while you wait.

Lead photo by

Winnipeg Zoo

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