Milwaukee County Zoo reopens after pandemic, precautions in place

MILWAUKEE -- For such a wild place, things have been pretty tame at the Milwaukee County Zoo over the past few months.

Milwaukee County Zoo

"It's been a long three months and now finally with a nice day like this, we get to open back up for visitors," said Chuck Wikenhauser, Milwaukee County Zoo director.

After months of being shut down due to COVID-19, the zoo welcomed back visitors on Saturday, June 13 -- but there are some changes.

"You'll notice a lot of fencing around -- temporary barriers to keep people away from things that might be high touchpoints," Wikenhauser said.

Milwaukee County Zoo

The zoo is only allowing in 1,500 guests at a time, compared to the thousands typically visiting. The hours of operation are also shorter.

"That gives us an opportunity to have additional cleaning in the morning and additional cleaning after the visitors leave," said Wikenhauser.

Face masks are required, and all of the buildings -- besides restrooms -- are closed. But guests still have the chance to see a lot of the animals.

Milwaukee County Zoo

"We like to refer to it as a guaranteed nature walk," Wikenhauser said.

While some things are closed inside -- services are still available.

"We can regulate the number of people that go into our two gift shops, we also will have walk-up food service," said Wikenhauser.

With tables spread 10 feet apart -- and guests practicing social distancing -- it's a great way to get out and monkey around.

Milwaukee County Zoo

Chuck Wikenhauser

"It's a chance for people to get outside, as a family especially, and do some things, run a little bit if that's necessary," Wikenhauser said.

Tickets must be purchased ahead of time, and reservation date and time has to be selected. CLICK HERE for more info.