LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As the COVID-19 pandemic inches toward the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s leaving a trail of changes and a year of major life adjustments for people and businesses across Kentucky.
As people seek that return to normalcy, one place that hopes to embody that return is the Louisville Zoo.
The Louisville Zoo has had to make a lot of changes in the past year. They’ve come a long way as far as getting people back in the park, but they’re still not where they want to be.
The zoo closed completely for several months last spring, which was tough for zoo staff and zoo guests.
“It broke our hearts,” said John Walczak, the zoo director, “because this is such a beautiful place, especially this time of the year, when everything’s blooming and the animals are enjoying spring.”
The park has been back opened at limited capacity, but people that visit have said they’re just happy to be back.
Lydia Turner and her daughter Chloe haven’t been to any zoo since the pandemic started. They just moved from California and came to the Louisville Zoo Friday on a playdate with another mommy-daughter combo: Erin and Cora.
“This is my first time meeting Erin and her daughter,” Turner said. “It’s a nice way to get together in a safe way.”
Erin Hogland and Cora have been the Louisville Zoo plenty of times before, and while Cora and Chloe are still a little shy around each other, their parents feel pretty good about the precautions taken by the zoo.
“I think they’ve done a great job’” said Hogland.” I’m pretty comfortable with it, and I have a membership, and I feel like it’s definitely worth it.”
The zoo has put certain rules in place like limited attendance, and they’re still limiting the amount of exhibits open.
”Right now our interior exhibits are closed, so we have plans this spring to reopen those,” Walczak said. “We just want to keep these trends going. Everybody keep pitching in doing the social distancing and those precautions so that we can continue to expand all of our services, open our playgrounds and have everything open to our guests.”
The zoo also has a lot of other events going on including Wild Lights and some Earth Day celebrations that include reduced ticket prices. More information can be found on their website. You can also find information about safety protocols being taken at the zoo.