Effective Monday, July 20th, the Gladys Porter Zoo will be changing its hours of operation until further notice. The Zoo will now only be open to the public during the following days and times: on Friday evenings, gates are open from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and guests will be allowed to stay on Zoo grounds until dusk; On Saturdays and Sundays, the Zoo will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The change comes just a week after the Zoo began operating for half-days Monday through Friday. Unfortunately, because low attendance continues, staff have made the difficult decision to further restrict our hours of operation in order to conserve funds and keep the Zoo operating. The community is still hesitant to visit in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic.
When considering this change to the hours of operation, a poll was conducted via the Zoo’s social media platforms to determine what time of day the public would be most likely to visit the Zoo. A majority of potential guests said they were more likely to visit in the cooler evening hours, which helped Zoo staff to make the decision to open later on Fridays, hoping to give guests a break from the harsh summer heat.
In addition to this change, gates will now open an hour earlier on Saturdays and Sundays, so that visitors can make the most of the cooler morning hours.
Safety measures that were implemented when the Zoo re-opened on June 8th will remain in place. To limit the spread of COVID-19, facial coverings are required upon entry for guests ages 6 and up. They are also required when inside buildings and within 6 feet of other guests or staff. Tickets can be purchased online to limit contact at the gates. A one-way route around the Zoo is still in effect to better allow for social distancing.
Zoo staff are understanding of the community’s reluctance to visit the Zoo amidst the current pandemic. Those who cannot visit are encouraged to lend their support in other ways, such as by purchasing a membership or through monetary donations.