Detroit Zoo begins limited opening for members only Monday

The Detroit News

Think the animals will notice? 

Word has it that the Detroit Zoo menagerie may be lonely for people since the zoo closed in mid-March. That could change as the zoo reopens for members only and by reservation on Monday, leaders have announced.

Animals like these chimpanzees at the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak may be missing the regular attention of adoring human visitors. (file photo)

"As we prepare to reopen the Detroit Zoo to members only by reservation on Monday, June 8, we want to say thank you — not just for your support during this tough time, but for your active engagement with us over the last few months," the zoo said in a release Wednesday.

Bookings open Friday for up to a 1,000 guests a day over the zoo's 125 acres. No more than 500 people will be allowed on the zoo grounds at an one time.

Safety guidelines include wearing a mask for visitors age 2 and older, unless prevented from doing so by a medical condition; following posted routes for navigating the zoo; maintaining physical distancing; and adhering to personal hygiene requirements.

A female panda explores her Detroit Zoo habitat in this 2018 file photo.

Visitors must show an ID and membership card before presenting a digital or printed timed ticket to the booth attendant when arriving according to the release.

All outdoor areas of the zoo are accessible except for the playgrounds. Indoor areas including the Barn, Wildlife Interpretive Gallery and the Butterfly Garden will be unavailable at first. The Holtzman Wildlife Foundation Red Panda Forest canopy walkway, prairie dog bubbles and giraffe viewing deck will be closed.

Red pandas, polar bears, wolves, barn animals, great apes, rhinos, prairie dogs and giraffes may be seen from regular public pathways.

Face masks will be available for purchase at the main entrance. The members-only entrance at Rackham Fountain remains closed and guests must enter through the main gate at the front of the zoo.

Restroom exterior doors will be propped open and attendants will monitor capacity and disinfect the facilities regularly. Every other toilet stall or urinal will be closed to ensure proper physical distancing.