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Zoo Boise reopens but with some changes

Changes at the zoo include selling tickets online, adding sanitizing stations, and adding new signs for a one-way flow of traffic.

BOISE, Idaho — Zoo Boise reopened to the public Monday morning, but just a few hours later we learned that Ada County was being rolled back to Stage 3 due to significant increases in the number of coronavirus cases in recent weeks.

Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway says his department is reviewing the new order that affects not just the zoo, but other activities as well.

He said they have already lowered the amount of guests allowed into the zoo from 100 to 50 per hour.

Zoo officials had already made a number of changes to protect staff and visitors -- including selling tickets online, adding sanitizing stations, and adding new signs to indicate one-way flow of foot traffic.

"Our zoo team has done a fantastic job working very closely with our safety and security at the city to create a plan that we feel very comfortable with, that we feel is very doable, very safe," Holloway said. "We know the animals are excited to see people again, and so we know that people are excited to see animals again, and so that enrichment process, believe it or not, the animals really do react to visitors coming to the zoo."

Tuesday afternoon, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean signed a public health order that will stay in effect for 30 days. However, outdoor facilities, like Zoo Boise, that reopened on Monday and have safety protocols that adhere to CDC and CDH guidelines in place may continue to stay open.

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