Stand up tall, we’ve got visitors! Chester Zoo residents welcome visitors as attraction reopens

The residents of Chester Zoo are getting used to sharing their home with visitors once again.

PABEST.Hannah Owens, giraffe keeper, opens the doors to release the giraffes at Chester Zoo as it reopens to visitors following the further easing of coronavirus lockdown measures in England. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday June 15, 2020. See PA story HEALTH CoronavirusReopenings. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire..
PABEST.Hannah Owens, giraffe keeper, opens the doors to release the giraffes at Chester Zoo as it reopens to visitors following the further easing of coronavirus lockdown measures in England. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday June 15, 2020. See PA story HEALTH CoronavirusReopenings. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire..

The zoo has been forced to stop taking bookings due to a huge demand – but says it will be releasing more soon.

The hugely popular visitor attraction reopened to the public yesterday after being closed since March.

Bosses at the zoo have been inundated with requests for tickets since they started taking bookings last week.

But due to Covid-19 regulations, they can only accommodate 3,000 visitors per day. Pre-coronavirus up to 12,000 members of the public were allowed on site.

Chief operating officer Jamie Christon said: “Our message at the moment is please just be patient because of the control capacity and the popularity but we will be introducing afternoon tickets and evening tickets as well later on in the month so we are going to be opening the zoo on some nights until 8pm at a reduced price rate between 5pm and 8pm so look out for those.

“We’re over the moon that so many of you are excited about coming to see us.

“The unprecedented demand for tickets today has been simply off the charts. We want to thank people from the bottom of our hearts.

“We just have to take careful, little steps to make sure everyone has a super safe and great day with us.

“We’re working our little socks off to get through the mountain of messages and emails. We promise we’ll get back to each and every one of you as soon as we possibly can.

The zoo had warned its very future was in doubt, but a public appeal raised £2 million in just a few days. It has also adapted how it has kept in touch with the public, using social media to ensure its work remained high profile.

Will Condliffe, a spokesman for Chester Zoo, said: “By adapting quickly to offer a new way of ‘visiting’ Chester Zoo we were able to keep animal lovers engaged and put smiles on people’s faces during lockdown. We’re confident that the interest in our virtual offering will continue as we beam animals to thousands of new fans across the world.”

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