Inside the new look Blackpool Zoo as it reopens today

Blackpool Zoo will open its doors to the public today following months of lockdown closure.

Saturday, 27th June 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 29th June 2020, 7:54 am

The 35-acre attraction was forced to temporarily close its doors in March as the Government imposed the most severe peacetime restrictions in modern history – and will reopen looking different in several ways, both to keep people safe and because it has some new animals!

In the past few months, keepers have heralded the arrival of many baby animals, including Emperor Tamarin twins, capybara, kangaroo and wallaby joeys, King Colobus monkeys, plover chicks, porcupettes, and a Red Titi monkey.

Tickets have been available since Tuesday – though a glitch forced members to wait longer than expected – with measures put in place to protect guests and staff.

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Laura Ockenden at the new entrance signs

Indoor animal houses are closed, there are social distancing signs and regular hand sanitisation points, and a new hub has been set up to answers questions.

All areas will be cleaned and disinfected more often, and toilets will be manned by attendants to manage numbers within the facilities.

Short podcasts will replace suspended daily talks, feeds, and displays.

Play areas, activities, the miniature train, and children’s rides will stay closed, but new “play trails” have been developed to keep young ones busy. They can be downloaded from the zoo’s website and can also be collected from the new hub.

How Blackpool Zoo will look when it reopens today (Picture: Daniel Martino for JPIMedia)

The main cafe and some kiosks will be open with a reduced menu and on a takeaway basis only. Outdoor eating areas have been increased and redesigned for social distancing, while screens have been installed at all staff interaction points and the gift shops will be open with limited capacity.

Visitor numbers are being limited each day and everyone, including members, now need to book to guarantee their entry.

The attraction is operating at 20 per cent its usual capacity, and said tickets are selling better than expected.

Zoo boss Darren Webster said: “Our teams have been working hard to get ready to safely reopen...”

How Blackpool Zoo will look when it reopens today (Picture: Daniel Martino for JPIMedia)
How Blackpool Zoo will look when it reopens today (Picture: Daniel Martino for JPIMedia)
How Blackpool Zoo will look when it reopens today (Picture: Daniel Martino for JPIMedia)
How Blackpool Zoo will look when it reopens today (Picture: Daniel Martino for JPIMedia)
How Blackpool Zoo will look when it reopens today (Picture: Daniel Martino for JPIMedia)
How Blackpool Zoo will look when it reopens today (Picture: Daniel Martino for JPIMedia)
How Blackpool Zoo will look when it reopens today (Picture: Daniel Martino for JPIMedia)