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Zoo, Botanical Garden to open mid-June

The Saint Louis Zoo and the Missouri Botanical Garden have announced their plans for reopening in mid-June.

The Zoo will open on Saturday, June 13, and the Garden will open on June 16. Both institutions have implemented enhanced protocols and procedures to safeguard guests, employees and, in the case of the zoo, residents.

The Zoo will limit attendance and require timed, free reservations. It will be open seven days a week, and guests can make reservations at stlzoo.org beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 8.

Japanese Garden [Source: Missouri Botanical Garden]

The Garden also will limit capacity and require advanced, dated and timed e-tickets. Tickets will be available in 60-minute time slots online and by phone only. Walk-up or day-of on-site purchases will not be available. Tickets will be available at mobot.org beginning June 9.

Garden hours will be 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday. The Garden will be closed on Monday until further notice. 

Protective face coverings will be required for all guests 9 years of age or older and all employees at both institutions, in accordance with St. Louis City’s public health guidelines.

“Face coverings can help minimize virus transmission from asymptomatic individuals. Keeping our animal and veterinary care staff safe and protected is the best measure to keep our animals safe and at minimal risk of exposure to a virus that we know very little about,” explained Dr. Jeffrey Bonner, Ph.D., Dana Brown President & CEO, Saint Louis Zoo. “On behalf of everyone at the Saint Louis Zoo, we appreciate your support and we look forward to seeing you soon. Until then, we encourage you to follow us on social media or on our blog to stay connected as we do our best to share stories and photos.”

Links to the Zoo’s social media and its blog can be found at stlzoo.org.

Amur tiger [Source: Saint Louis Zoo]

In a release issued May 20, the Zoo added the following caveat to its masks policy: “Guests with preexisting health conditions unable to wear a mask/face covering for medical reasons are exempt. Guests are allowed to remove or lower their masks/face coverings when practicing good social distancing of 6 feet or more when eating or drinking.”

The Garden, noted in a press statement on May 21, that it will require visitors to enter and exit its grounds through separate one-way paths to allow for social distancing. Indoor spaces including the Climatron and all conservatories, the Sachs Museum and Tower Grove House will remain closed. The Children’s Garden and water play areas also will be closed.

Additional properties under the Botanical Garden’s umbrella will adhere to their own set of safety protocols. The Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, Missouri, will reopen on June 16 and require advanced e-tickets for entry. The Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House in Faust Park in Chesterfield had not announced its reopening plans as of May 21.

Access to virtual Garden tours and more is available at discoverandshare.org/ourgardenyourhome.

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