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San Diego Zoo welcoming guests back to the wild, what’s new this weekend

After a three month closure due to the pandemic, The San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are welcoming guests back to the wild. Sponsored by: San Diego Zoo

SAN DIEGO — After a three month closure due to the pandemic, The San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are welcoming guests back to the wild. While it may look a little different from past treks, there is still plenty for the family to see and do safely.

Rick Schwartz, San Diego Zoo Global Ambassador, joins our Laura Cavanaugh to provide the inside scoop of what happened behind the scenes during the closure, all that’s new and the important efforts to help with the care of the animals.

Join the San Diego Zoo Safari Park this weekend to celebrate Kenya Days (August 14 – August 16.)  The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is home to nine elephants.

During this unique, three-day event at the Safari Park, guests will have the opportunity to purchase special tours and go behind the scenes to experience the animals up close from sun up to sundown. Take your household on a sunset safari into the African savanna habitat and learn about conservation work in Kenya.  

The Watering Hole will be offering a special brunch with special African entertainment throughout the park.  Kenya Days will highlight San Diego Zoo Global’s conservation initiatives and partnerships in Kenya, not only to conserve elephant populations, but also other species, such as giraffes, hirola and leopards.

For those who can’t visit this weekend, there is plenty of information about Kenya Days online, including fun activities for children including coloring pages and craft projects.  

Zoos have been hit hard by COVID-19 closures. While other organizations could simply stop working, turn off their lights and send staff home, the zoo’s dedicated team of specialists provided continued care for animals and plants, despite the fact that their gates were closed. 

The non-profit relies on ticket sales, visitors and members to fund conservation work and to feed the animals. They are a lifeline. And the non-profit is still relying heavily on member and guest support.  They also welcome partnerships with local businesses. 

This summer the San Diego Zoo is collaborating with Knockaround, a San Diego company, to create three exclusive San Diego Zoo themed sunglasses. The first pair, the reticulated giraffe shades, were released in June and sold out immediately. The Cheetah Fast Lanes specs were just released and the Rhino sunglasses will follow on World Rhino Day in September.  A portion of the proceeds goes directly to support conservation work and the care of the animals.  Throughout 2020, $5 from every pair of sunglasses sold will go to support the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy to help protect species and habitats.  To sport your support for the zoo, you can snap up these specialty shades at the Zoo, Safari Park or buy them online while supplies last at knockaround.com.

Things may look a little different on your next visit.  During the closure, there were plenty of babies born.

Guests can once again stroll through the outdoor habitats, but there are measures in place to ensure guest safety.

The zoo is currently operating at reduced capacity. Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets online in advance.

Other implemented safety measures include health screening areas, social distancing markings, face-covering requirements and the temporary closure of some indoor exhibits.

Before you head out on your next zoo or safari park adventure, guests are encouraged to visit sandiegozoo.org/reopen.

 Sponsored by: San Diego Zoo