ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos are closed from Tuesday 5 January

It is with a very heavy heart that we must close both London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo, with effect from Tuesday 5 January 2021, following the UK Government’s announcement of a national lockdown.

As with previous closures, the well-being of our animals and staff is our primary concern and we have well practiced procedures in place. 

While we understand this national action is necessary to curb the spread of Coronavirus, it adds a huge burden for us.

  • If you have a TICKET BOOKED we will be in touch with you to swap your ticket for a flexi-ticket that can be used anytime for a full year once we re-open.
  • If you have an ANIMAL EXPERIENCE BOOKED, we will contact you as soon as possible to rearrange a new date. We will contact people in order of the date they had booked, in order to re-book people as fairly as possible.
  • We will be in touch with OUR MEMBERS, PATRONS AND FELLOWS directly so please look out for an email from us.

Our focus throughout has always been keeping our animals happy and well cared for, and we'd like to say a huge thank you for your support, which is really appreciated during this challenging time. 

Once more we will need to shoulder the costs for the food and care of our 20,000 animals with no way to generate income for ourselves.

It’s now more than ever we need your support. Please, if you can:

Give what you can to our charity
Treat loved ones to something from our online shop
Buy a ticket for a future visit
Buy a ticket as a gift for someone

Gift a whole year of wonder-full days out with an annual membership

In the meantime, we have tried our best to answer any other questions you might have, below:
 

Information on previous bookings
  • I’ve booked for a visit and now you’re going to be closed, what now?

Don’t worry – we will honour your ticket and convert it to a flexible one for you to reuse any time after we reopen. Our teams will be in touch with you over the coming days, so keep an eye on your inbox, junk and spam folders – you’ll hear from us soon. If you booked by phone, we’ll give you a call. If you’ve not heard from us by within 72 hours of your original planned visit date/time, please email us.

  • I’ve booked an Experience – will it still run?

If you have booked a London Zoo Lodge, or other Experience at either of our Zoos, we’re sorry that your experience cannot go ahead during the forthcoming closure period. Our team will be in touch soon with you soon to discuss options for rebooking or for a refund.

  • Can I upgrade my previous Zoo ticket to become a member?

We would be delighted! It’s a great way to support us and great value for you, ensuring wonderful days out through the coming year. If you had a visit booked in recent months and would like to upgrade your tickets to membership ready for when we reopen, please fill in the form and email it to membership@zsl.org. Your membership will last for one year from purchase. You can time the start of your membership to just before we open (we will do this for you) so you can take advantage of all the benefits, at the right time.
 

Visiting us in the future
  • When do you reopen?

At present, we do not have a date for reopening, but we are in close contact with government to make sure that we will be amongst the first to reopen when regulations are relaxed. Rest assured, we will announce our reopening date just as soon as we can, and you’ll see it on social media, our website and directly by email if you've signed up to receive updates from us (if not, it’s worth doing that now – it only takes a few seconds, sign up here). Please bookmark this page and check back for any updates from us.

  • Can I book a visit for further ahead?

At the moment, we are not taking future bookings, until we know how long our Zoos must remain closed. We hope we can reopen bookings as soon as possible, and we will announce it on our website, on social media or directly via email to you if you are signed up to receive updates from us.

  • How safe is it to visit the Zoos (when they reopen)?

Over the past few months, we have been working hard to implement a range of safety measures at our Zoos and followed Government advice so that we can provide a safe and enjoyable visit for everyone. As mainly outdoor experiences, both our Zoos offer an open-air opportunity to see amazing animals and to reconnect with nature. All our staff are specially trained to ensure the guidelines are adhered to so you have a safe and enjoyable day out.

To avoid crowding and maintain social distancing it may become necessary to close some of our indoor enclosures and indoor play areas and cancel animal talks and demonstrations, depending on Government guidance or regulations, If this is the case, it will be clearly set out on our website.

Ongoing measures we have taken at our Zoos to ensure that we are COVID-secure include:

  • Limiting the number of visitors per day.
  • Visitors pre-booking tickets online so we are able to manage numbers safely.
  • One-way routes around London Zoo to help with visitor flow and to ensure social distancing.
  • Protective screens at contact points including at ticket checks and Member kiosks.
  • Hand-sanitiser/handwash stations at the entrances, exits and at regular stops around each Zoo.
  • Extra thorough and frequent cleaning of toilets and washrooms
  • Cash-free payment only - by card or mobile device (e.g. Apple Pay, Google Pay)
  • Outdoor catering and retail kiosks only.

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Information for our Members, Patrons and Fellows
  • What benefits will I receive during lockdown?

If you are a Member, Fellow or Patron – thank you! You are amongst our most valued supporters and your support over the years has been the backbone of ZSL, especially during the COVID pandemic.

We know how much you value being able to come to the Zoos throughout the year but sadly, during lockdown that’s not possible just now. But we’ll do everything we can to keep you informed and engaged with our work – you’ll continue to receive regular bulletins with pictures and stories about Zoo life, our animals and keepers – and about our international conservation work which you help support with your membership. Gold members, Fellows and Patrons will continue to receive our magazine WildAbout, packed with wonderful features and ideas, and can still use 10% discount in our online shop – check back in your emails for the latest code, or in the welcome pack for new members.

All members will be the first to know of key updates regarding the re-opening of London and Whipsnade Zoos.

  • When the Zoos re-open, will I need to pre-book a ticket to visit?

While we have to operate under COVID regulations, we are forced to have strict limits to visitor numbers in our Zoos to enable social distancing, and that means our Members, Fellows and Patrons need to continue to pre-book free slots to visit.

We work extremely hard to ensure we allocate as many tickets as possible exclusively for Members, Fellows and Patrons, while making some tickets available for non-members to purchase. Within these constraints, the majority of tickets are ring-fenced for Members, Fellow and Patrons, but on the busiest days these tickets are apt to sell out. Rest assured, we constantly monitor the balance of non-member and member ticket allocations and whenever possible, make any spare capacity available for members to book.

Always check the website for the latest pre-booking requirements.

Please note when pre-booking free tickets: Every pre-booked free ticket is for members only, valid on the selected date for the selected Zoo and in conjunction with a valid ZSL Members, Fellows and Patrons card, or temporary slip for new members. Otherwise, unfortunately, we will not be able to grant you entry into the Zoo.

  • Will my membership be extended for the time the Zoos are closed?

In the first lockdown from March to June 2020, we automatically extended all Silver and Gold memberships for 3 months. However, due to the huge financial impact of this and subsequent lockdowns, we are sadly not able to automatically extend all memberships for the duration of this latest closure. It costs us £1 million a month to continue feeding and caring for our 20,000 animals and we are reliant on every bit of support we receive to get us through this difficult time, so we are simply not able to bear the further loss of income this time around.

We understand that the current situation will be more difficult for some of our members so if you would like to discuss your membership options or opt/in for an extension of your membership, please get in touch with our Supporter Contact Team on 0344 225 1826 or email membership@zsl.org.

  • I want to do more to help. What can I do?

We need every bit of help we can get so a donation, of any size, would help us survive this closure. Please donate online at donate.zsl.org.

Is your online shop open?

Yes, and buying something online is a great way to support us while we are unable to open our Zoos! Simply head to shop.zsl.org – we have a great range of unique, sustainable and amazing products for all the family which make great gifts, or to treat yourself.

There you can also buy gift tickets to give to someone. These can be redeemed at any time within the next 12 months so they are very flexible. 

Buy a gift ticket

 

Information for schools

Although the Zoos are now closed in line with government guidelines, we are taking bookings for later in the year. We will also continue to answer your queries about upcoming visits when the Zoos are allowed to reopen. During our closure, we are still able to offer digital sessions - to book or to find out more, please contact us at learning@zsl.org.

Venue hire

Our hire venues aren’t operating at the moment, and our Events and Hospitality offices are currently closed. Please do email us in the meantime, one of the team will get back to you on their return.

Accessing the ZSL Library

ZSL’s Library is currently closed. If you have borrowed books we will be automatically renewing your loan, so please don’t worry. There’s no need to attempt to return your books at the moment.

I have another question that isn't answered here, how can I get in touch?

Please contact us on the details below if you have any questions that have not been answered in our FAQs

Tiger at London Zoo - please donate

Please help us survive

Any donation will make a real difference. Thank you so much for your support.