It’s all paws to the pump as we prepare to reopen as part of Step 2 of the national roadmap out of lockdown. We are looking forward to welcoming people back on Monday 12th April.
Our Keepers have been busy looking after more than 1,000 animals during the succession of lockdowns & regional restrictions and Spring is certainly in the air right now with a whole host of new babies arriving.
Wallaby joeys and lots small primates including Spider monkeys, King colobus monkeys, White-faced saki monkeys and Red titi monkeys are waiting to meet visitors for the first time.
In addition, four Asian Small-clawed otters, which is the smallest otter species in the world, have been born. It is the first time we have bred this species, which is classified as vulnerable in the wild, for more than a decade.
We have achieved Good to Go status from Visit England, which is the official UK mark to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.
We are a 37-acre open space and visitor numbers will be limited each day with bookings available online. The indoor animal enclosures are closed and expected to reopen sometime from the middle of May and activities and game machines will also be closed for now.
There will be no daily animal talks, feeds or displays for the time being to aid social distancing, but we have created a series of podcasts that can be downloaded for visitors to listen to as they make their way round the zoo.
The rule of six or two households meeting outdoors will apply and visitors will be required to follow social distancing guidelines, onsite signage and make use of the hand sanitation points.
The enhanced and increased cleaning and disinfecting of all areas will continue as they did after the earlier lockdowns and toilets will be open and manned by attendants to manage numbers within the facilities.
The cafés will be open with a reduced menu on a take-out only basis and the outdoor eating areas and outdoor children’s play areas will be open. Screens have been installed at all staff interaction points and the gift shops will be open with limited capacity.
Darren Webster, Zoo Director, said: “We are hugely excited about welcoming visitors back to Blackpool Zoo and we are committed to providing a safe environment to enjoy a great day out.
“As the national roadmap progresses, a visit to the zoo will start to look more normal this year and we are optimistic about the possibility of a great British summer!
“I wish to thank everyone that has visited during the weeks and months that we were able to open in the last year - we greatly appreciate and value everyone’s continuing support during these very challenging times.”