Bergen County Zoo opens to public with special protocols in place

The Bergen County Zoo is officially open to the public with special protocols in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

News 12 Staff

Sep 7, 2020, 5:11 PM

Updated 1,313 days ago

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The Bergen County Zoo is officially open to the public with special protocols in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was a long-awaited opening, just in time for the unofficial end to the summer.
“We were waiting the whole summer to do something fun, so we’re really happy it reopened,” said Nam Pham, of Fair Lawn.
The zoo experience will be a bit different than it has been in years past. Patrons must wear facial coverings, follow a one-way walking path and there are hand sanitizer stations at every corner.
“They’re taking precautions to do everything the right way. We’re very happy to be here,” said Izabela Silva, of Hasbrouck Heights. 
Zoo officials say that the protocols are also in place to protect the animals – especially the mammals which have a higher chance of contacting the virus.
"All our spider monkeys, our tamarins, our mountain lions - you'll be viewing them behind the plexiglass boarder, so that protects them too,” says zoo director Mary Vella.
Another new measure the zoo is taking is closing the zoo from 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m. so that staff can disinfect surfaces and feed the animals.
“Our bathrooms are all sanitized again. We make sure we refill all our sanitizer stations. People go around and spray our fence lines down from where people’s hands have been touched and the spots where the social distancing is,” says Vella.
During the summer months zoo officials installed touchless technology for its bathrooms and installed plexiglass shields on some of its exhibits. And during that time the animals had to get used to not seeing crowds pass through every day.
“All the animals, I guess they’re glad to see everybody back and we’re glad they’re open as well,” says Wilker Silva, of Hasbrouck Heights.
Patrons are encouraged to get their tickets online before coming to the zoo to reduce lines at its ticket booth.


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