Reid Park Reopens


Caleb Pearce-Huffman, Contributor

On August 21st, the zoo began preparing for a public reopening after being closed since March.  Reid Park Zoo will reopen to the public on Aug. 28. The zoo’s wildlife will be under view through an adapted observation experience to keep up with CDC guidelines. The zoo will require online ticketing in advance to limit human contact, and the 6 feet distance between visitors will be enforced with animal prints on the side walk. I admire that the staff is brave enough to safely reopen such a visitor hotspot because it holds a special place in my family. We used to visit the Reid Park Zoo as a pastime during my middle school years. I trust that the staff has learned from other recent returns, and I have faith that they can make the environment safe for everyone.

Some zoo features like the carousel, train rides, play equipment, giraffe feedings and indoor areas will remain closed as a safety precaution. The gift shop, cafe and front entrance will be closed for construction. The water fountains and food courses will also be closed; leaving the food stands in armadas to supply the public with food and drinks. While some specific attractions won’t be available to us right away we will be welcoming a baby elephant named Penzi, as well as two new finches arrived in the aviary.

I believe the zoo’s reopening will serve as a landmark of revival from Tucson’s fight with Covid-19. I know that the dramatic and traumatic events surrounding the birth of Covid-19 will make us as citizens stronger and more unified. The Zoo has always been a symbol of serenity and unification for my family and me. I’d hope that the opening of other businesses local and otherwise can begin our journey to recovery. I know other people have different locations that signify happiness, and I know that as more places open more of us will become happier. In the end, its our happiness that keeps us strong as a community.