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Zoo Knoxville hopes to reopen by mid-May with safety procedures in place

Full details have not been announced, but the zoo will open back up with a much-reduced capacity to help with social distancing and to keep crowds down.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn — Zoo Knoxville is hoping to welcome visitors back once again by the middle of May.

The zoo has been closed since March 16 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most Knox County businesses are allowed to reopen starting May 1 with many safety precautions in mind, but Zoo Knoxville will wait a little longer to make sure they have all of the staff members safely back at work and all procedures tested.

Zoo CEO Lisa New said in a video that the zoo had submitted a reopening plan to city and county leaders, and that had been approved.

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She didn't release full details of the plan but said the zoo would open back up with a much-reduced capacity to help with social distancing and to keep crowds down.

"Not only have we missed our visitors, but we believe our animals have, too. It's the time of year that should be boisterous and filled with laughing kids and we're eager to get back to that," she said.

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