After being closed since March 18th due to the COVID-19 situation, Rolling Hills Zoo is planning to reopen to the public under the current guidelines set by Governor Kelly. “The zoo will open with a three phase plan that adheres to the guidelines of the Governor’s AD ASTRA plan while also ensuring that the safety of our guests, staff and animals is our top priority”, shared Bob Jenkins, Executive Director of Rolling Hills Zoo.
During Phase One of the Zoo’s reopening plan, Zoo hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning on Friday, May 22nd. Admission for all Zoo guests will be at the Zoo Entrance. In consideration of the modifications to the guest’s experiences during Phase One, admission prices have changed during this phase: adults – $10; seniors (65+) – $9; children ages 12 – 3 years old – $5; and children 2 & younger are Free.
Guests will be encouraged to wear masks. All Zoo staff will be wearing masks and other Personal Protective Equipment as appropriate. Restrooms, outdoor restaurant tables and seating, and all high touch areas throughout the zoo will be cleaned and disinfected on a continuous basis during the day.
Social distancing inside the Zoo will be encouraged with signage and 6’ spacing markers in high-traffic areas, along with frequent hand washing signage.
Changes to the Zoo Experience
To ensure the safety of everyone at the Zoo, animal feedings and keeper encounters will not take place during Phase One. The following buildings will be closed: Wildlife Museum, Great Apes Building, Reptile Building and the Giraffe’s indoor viewing area, along with the Green Playhouse and the Coati’s pop-up tunnel. Additionally, the following buildings will be closed on an as needed basis: Kids Country barn, Rhino Barn and the Anteater/Aardvark Building. While the buildings may be closed, most of the animals can be viewed in their outdoor habitats.
The Overlook Restaurant will remain open, operating through the outdoor service window only. Outdoor restaurant seating will be available as well as seating in the picnic area.
Trams will not be running during Phase One, but stroller, wheelchair and electronic scooter rentals will be available. All zoo special events planned for May and June have been cancelled with plans to resume events in July. Plans for educational experiences, including summer camps, are still in development to adhere to the current guidelines and will be announced at a later date.
These restrictions will begin to be lifted in the final phases of the reopening plan. Final phases will be determined based on the guidance of the State and local government.