Sedgwick County Zoo now open to the public

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH)

The Sedgwick County Zoo reopened Monday to members only.

The Sedgwick County Zoo is now open to the public again after only being open for members since Monday (May 18).

Tickets for entry must be purchased online. A limited amount of tickets are available each day.

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The Sedgwick County Zoo reopened its doors in a limited capacity to members Monday for the first time in eight weeks.

The zoo has made some changes to accommodate social distancing measures and increased sanitation.

"Our Phase 1 will be a thousand max per day, and those are half-hour increments where people can get their tickets online,” Sedgwick County Zoo Executive Director Jeff Ettling said. “After two weeks, we'll ramp up to two thousand max per day, and those still are online tickets. We'll be doing that for the foreseeable future."

Along with limiting tickets, certain areas, such as playgrounds and petting and feeding exhibits, are closed. Boat and tram rides are also unavailable.

Indoor areas, like the reptile exhibit, have decals spaced 10-20 feet apart to remind guests to social distance.

Other alterations include the closure of the KOCH Orangutan & Chimpanzee Habitat and the Downing Gorilla Forest due to the potential risk of transmission of COVID-19 from humans to great apes, the zoo says.

According to Ettling, the zoo will lose out on about $1.7 million due to the eight-week shutdown.

While tickets are reserved for members only, the zoo will open to the public on Thursday (May 21). Tickets must be purchased online.