BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington reopens indoor exhibits next Monday, nearly a year since closing in March.
The zoo’s Director, Jay Tetzloff, said the park will still maintain regular hours, and all exhibits will be open to the public, excluding the Budgie parakeet enclosure.
“It’s an area where you walk in with them, and it’s not a big area,” Tetzloff said, “so we just decided we would keep that area closed.”
Standard COVID-19 precautions are in place to ensure guests are safe and feel comfortable, limiting building capacity to 50 percent and requiring visitors to wear masks and social distance. Tetzloff said once the weather begins to warm up, the zoo may also need volunteers to help control crowds inside.
“We don’t think we’ll get to those capacities early on,” Tetzloff said. “As we get closer to march…then we’ll start talking about having volunteers…to limit the number of people in the building.”
He also said Miller Park’s staff is excited to observe how the animals will react to visitors after seeing only zookeepers since March, holding special interest in the newborn snow leopard cubs’ reactions.
“They’ve never really been seen by the public, so I’m really curious to see how they respond,” Tetzloff said.
Along with Free Fridays during February, more events are planned for this spring, and the new Debrazza Monkey exhibit is expected to open early this summer.
“We’re excited about what we can show to the public, and get more people engaged about saving the wildlife,” Tetzloff said.
For more information on Miller Park Zoo, volunteering, and events, visit Miller Park Zoo’s Website.