The Birmingham Zoo will be reducing daily operating hours from seven days a week to five days a week. Beginning July 13, the Zoo will close on Mondays and Tuesdays until further notice. Guests and Members can visit the Zoo from Wednesday through Sunday during the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Zoo closed to the public on March 19 to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus in our community. On June 8, the Zoo reopened with significant changes to their operating procedures that included strict health and safety guidelines for visitors. Social distancing and other enhanced protocols have been successful, and visitors to the Zoo continue to follow measures set in place.
Despite the engaging visitor experience, daily attendance has been lower than anticipated, and revenues continue to decline as a result. As a non-profit organization, the Zoo relies on its 600,000 annual visitors for the revenue critical to maintaining daily operations and infrastructure. This year’s significantly lower levels of attendance have a tremendous impact on zoo operations.
In the early stages of the pandemic, the Zoo established an Emergency Animal Fund to aid with the $1,000 a day it costs to feed over 550 animal residents, which include many endangered and sensitive species. In addition to nutrition, it costs the Zoo an average of $30,000 per day to operate and provide vital animal care. Administrators have now made the decision to close two days out of the week to further control costs and allow for a reduction in expenses.
All guests and Members of the Zoo will still be required to follow our health and safety guidelines, including face coverings for individuals over the age of two years old. Limits on attendance and one-way traffic patterns remain in place to provide for better physical distancing. The Zoo will continue to operate as a pleasant outdoor experience in a park environment with buildings remaining closed.
Timed admission tickets are no longer required but visitors are encouraged to pre-purchase tickets to help minimize physical contact with Zoo staff. The Red Diamond Express train and Protective Life carousel will open daily starting on Friday, July 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and tickets will be available for purchase onsite and online at birminghamzoo.com. For the health and safety of staff, guests, and animals, the Zoo will continue to monitor and evaluate operations and modify procedures as needed.
More updates on our operations and visitor guidelines will be announced via press releases and on their social media platforms at Facebook.com/BirminghamZoo, Twitter.com/BirminghamZoo, and Instagram.com/bhamzoo.
Emergency Animal Fund – www.birminghamzoo.com/donate
Visitor Guidelines – www.birminghamzoo.com/visitor-