The Rosamond Gifford Zoo reopened Saturday and welcomed dozens of Syracuse visitors while maintaining safety precautions. Zoo members began lining up even before the doors were open.
“Everywhere else and everything else we know at this point has changed," said Ted Fox, the zoo's director.
It’s a new normal for people, and visitors are getting their temperature checked before heading inside. Masks are to be worn at all times.
“We feel safe. We are wearing the masks; everyone is wearing the masks,” said Samantha Findaly, a regular visitor.
She’s pregnant, which causes her to be extra cautious in the midst of this pandemic. Now with the reopening, she's finally getting some fresh air.
“It feels so good. We have been cooped at home for months,” she said.
As birds chirped alongside Samantha and her husband Tim, he said, “I think they said it all for us. We are all very excited to be out here in the beautiful weather.”
New procedures are in place for those who want to enjoy the weather and the animals. For safety, you can only walk one direction through the zoo.
“Everyone is just being amazing so far,” said Tim.
The zoo staff says there are 50 people being led in every half hour, with the last group at 2:30 p.m. For kids, this brings a sense of normalcy, after being stuck at home for months.
“[There are] families with young kids that are trying to explain this kind of thing, so we are really excited to have people start coming back now,” said Ted Fox.
The zoo is trying these reopening methods out and will re-evaluate in two or three weeks.