AKRON, Ohio — As Ohio's reopening continues, zoos across the state will be welcoming guests back soon.
Zoos inspire. They're where we learn about things like conservation. But the coronavirus removed our connection, closing the doors on us all.
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo offered a drive-thru experience and virtual tours, while in Akron, they have been working on a reopening plan since the day they were forced to close.
Jeannette Andreski is Akron Zoo's Director of Guest Services. She and her team have been busy getting things ready for reopening on June 17.
"We've got lots of social distance markers, one way pathways, increased hand sanitation, and our indoor buildings are going to be closed," Andreski told us.
Guests aren't required to wear masks, but you really "otter"... Safety first! Entering the zoo will be a touchless experience.
"You'll have a staff member that opens the front door for you so you don't have to worry about touching those doors, Andreski explained.
You'll be welcomed by hand sanitizer and 10 foot social distance spacing, and three windows to pick up your "timed tickets." They must be purchased on-line and will be available starting June 11 .
According to Andreski, the Akron Zoo will be doing 'time-ticketing,' so every 30 minutes they will have 200 visitors that can enter the park.
Check out the zoo's website for more details on reserving your visit time. Many animals are outdoors for visitors to see. Though indoor enclosures will be closed, the snow leopards and new resident leopard Mulan, among others, are waiting.
The animals are almost as excited as the zoo's employees to reopen.
"We're counting down the days. we've been ready for this since we shut down. We really can't wait to see everybody," exclaims Andreski.