ZSL London Zoo’s gorillas are celebrating the reopening of the iconic London attraction on Monday 15 June, with a colourful addition to their enclosure.
Zookeepers hung multi-coloured bunting – a nod to the rainbow symbol of lockdown – around the troop’s outdoor island home for the great apes to play with as they prepare for reopening.
The gorillas at ZSL London Zoo are among the many animals eagerly awaiting the return of visitors to the Regent’s Park site on Monday 15 June.
Zookeeper Daniel Simmonds said: “Finding new things in their enclosure is like Christmas morning for our infant gorillas Alika and Gernot – and they’ll love playing with this colourful bunting!
“We know that our members and supporters love seeing our animals up close, but animals like the gorillas get a lot out of watching the visitors too – especially our two youngsters; they love the attention.
“It’s been a really surreal, and quite anxious, time at the Zoo without visitors on site, but we are all so excited that our efforts have paid off and we can finally welcome them back – in fact, the demand for tickets was so high on the day they went on sale that our website had a bit of a wobble, but it’s all fixed now!”
The Zoo will be limiting visitors to 2,000 people per day, with pre-booked tickets only. A one-way system is in place, with three prescribed routes ensuring guests remain socially-distanced, while getting to explore the whole zoo. Catering outlets will be takeaway only, and all payments will be contactless. Some indoor exhibits, including the Reptile House and BUGS House will remain closed for now.
Kathryn England, Chief Operating Officer for ZSL London Zoo added; “While the reopening news is certainly worthy of a big celebration, it’s not the end of our fundraising efforts yet. The increased safety measures mean London Zoo will be limited to just 2,000 visitors a day - well below the numbers needed to recoup the charity’s lost income, so we really hope that we’ll continue to receive the amazing support from the public we’ve seen so far.”
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