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Zoo Atlanta will reopen this weekend

The zoo announced Thursday it was reopening on Saturday.

ATLANTA — Zoo Atlanta will reopen on Saturday, the venue said in a release on Thursday.

The zoo says it will be instituting "enhanced protocols and procedures" to facilitate a safe reopening. 

Those will include a timed ticketing system "to control capacity and limit the number of guests who are inside the zoo at any given time" a release said. The zoo did not say specifically what that number will be.

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All indoor exhibits and buildings, except restrooms, will also remain closed. Rides and play areas will remain closed, as well.

The zoo also says it will institute a "one-way experience" to maintain social distancing. The release said pathway guides would be assisting guests and encouraging social distancing.

All employees will wear masks in public-facing areas of the zoo. Visitors will not be required to wear masks, but are "strongly encouraged" to.

"Hand sanitizing stations are available throughout the Zoo for guest convenience. Zoo teams will also frequently clean and disinfect touchpoints, restroom touchpoints and restrooms using a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved disinfectant," the release said.

Some other safety measures include an entirely paperless system within the zoo - both for transactions and with all-digital maps - and only outdoor food and souvenir sales.

“We are pleased to welcome our Members and guests back to the outdoor experiences and connections to wildlife that can only be found at Zoo Atlanta," the zoo's president and CEO, Raymond B. King, said. "As important as this is to us, it was essential that we not reopen the Zoo until we could do so confidently, with the safety of our visitors, team members and the animals in our care as the number one priority. Many weeks of planning have gone into our reopening, and everything we have done or will do is being done with this in mind.”

The timed tickets are available beginning today. The zoo directs guests to its "Know Before You Visit" webpage for more information on the new guidelines.

Operating hours will be 9 a.m.-6 p.m. except for Saturday, when the zoo will open at 10 a.m.

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