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Riverbanks Zoo opens to the public with some changes

Columbia's zoo is back up and running with a few changes to keep guests safe

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Governor McMaster announced on Wednesday that attractions in South Carolina would be allowed to open.

Within an hour, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden announced it would reopen on Saturday with some changes in place.

After two months of being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many excited visitors could be seen walking Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. 

“We have been anxiously awaiting this day," Susan O'Cain, Director of Communications for the zoo told News19, "Yesterday we opened to our members for the first time and we couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

O’Cain said they couldn’t be happier to be back up and running, but guests will notice some changes. These include ticket reservation times.

“In order to enter the park, guests and members will have to go online and reserve a timed ticket. So those start at 9 o’clock every morning and time slots are available every half hour beginning at 9 o’clock.”

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Other precautions like creative social distance reminders and signage are in place to remind guests to stay safe. 

“Guests are going to noticed increased hand-washing and hand sanitizing stations across the park," O'Cain shares, "They’re going to notice that they’re not going to get paper maps- they can scan a QR codes around the park. We’ve already enhanced our already rigorous cleaning practices so guests are going to notice our staff out cleaning, guests are going to notice our staff wearing face-masks. They’re also going to notice increased cleaning in between folks going onto the attractions.”

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These new guidelines are to keep visitors, team members and animals safe.

The zoo is in phase one of their three phase plan. For a full list of changes and information on this reopening click here

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