Virginia Zoo reopening to the public on June 25 — members on June 22

Living Local

This 2020 photo provided by the Fairfax County Police Department shows a 65-pound (29-kilogram) alligator snapping turtle in Alexandria, Va. The turtle, dubbed Lord Fairfax, who was repeatedly crossing a residential road in the Alexandria area, according to Fairfax County Police, has found a new home at a Virginia zoo. (Fairfax County Police Department via AP)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Now that Hampton Roads is in phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan, you won’t have to wait long to see your favorite animals, and some new ones, at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk.

The zoo is opening to the public on June 25, and for members only on June 22. Phase 2 reopened several businesses in Virginia, including zoos.

The zoo says several changes will be in place when members and the public return.

  • The zoo will be open to everyone from Thursday to Monday, with members only days on Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. like normal, but reservations will be required for everyone. Members can start reserving tickets on Tuesday, June 16.
  • Face masks will be required for all visitors ages 10 and older while entering the zoo, inside indoor exhibits and within 6 feet of a different group.
  • Visitors will only be able to go through a one-way, one-mile loop which includes several exhibits, including the zoo’s Asian and African exhibits and Animal Wellness Campus.
  • Open: Bathrooms and water bottle stations will be open, and food and beverages can be bought through the zoo.
  • Closed: The World of Reptiles, ZooFarm, ZooTrain, Enrichment Playground, the Gift Shop, Water Plaza and Membership Office. Keeper Chats, ZooLive! Stage presentations and other animal encounters will be postponed.

The zoo says memberships will be extended for those that were current on March 13 or those that were purchased or renewed since that date, and it’s still working on adding time to the memberships. An email was set to be sent out to members.

The zoo says you can also choose to forgo your extension to help support the zoo and its animals, and also is asking for volunteers to donate their time. The zoo was hit hard by the pandemic and established an emergency fund to help.

When you go you can see all of the zoo’s new babies, including its new giraffe calf born on May 26, and the 65-pound alligator snapping turtle originally dubbed “Lord Fairfax,” who was found earlier this month in a northern Virginia suburb. He’s been renamed Yidaro.

For more information, click here.

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