The Johannesburg Zoo says it’s ready to welcome guests to its grounds after the wildlife park officially reopened on Monday.
The Zoo, like many other tourism businesses, was closed for almost four months during the lockdown
Joburg Zoo Animal Welfare Manager, Piet Mapela says, “At the back here this is interesting the white rhino are social animals, we are trying to simulate the natural environment so that you can come and see the different type of species in the same enclosure. This is how modern zoos are moving.”
MMC for Community Development, Margaret Arnolds says, “Financially it has been a big knock for us but it also gave a chance to do other things such as the elephant and the lions’ enclosures, as far as the zoo is concerned there is a lot of things that we could do which we couldn’t do under normal circumstances.”
@JoburgParksZoo has a large collection of 2209 animals; 314 species. The collection comprises of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects & arachnids. Families are encouraged to visit the Joburg zoo #WeServeJoburg pic.twitter.com/s5lPyOXQ85
— Geoff Makhubo (@GeoffMakhubo) August 31, 2020
Strict social distancing rules
Visitors have been urged to abide by the added safety and hygiene measures that have been put in place. While all are welcome, strict social distancing rules will be implemented at the enclosures.
Arnolds says, “Whoever comes to the zoo, must ensure that they have their mask, bring your own little sanitizer, when you enter your temperature is taken and your details and you are then sanitized, even at the cashiers we are doing all these protocols to ensure that people are safe.”
The reopening of the Zoo is a positive step to help rejuvenate the battered tourism sector.
Joburg Tourism Communication Manager, Laura Vercueil says, “The whole tourism value chain covers so many different sectors, and everyone has taken a hard knock and the fact that we are slowly opening up is a huge relief to business owners, many have suffered terribly.”
Entry tickets at the Zoo start at R100 for adults and R60 for children.
In June, Joburg Zoo’s male Gorilla Makokou took a trip to a veterinary hospital via helicopter:
In the video below, the CEO of Tourism Business Council of South Africa, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa speaks about the easing of lockdown restrictions on tourism: