FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is officially open for its 57th season.
“It feels so great to be open, and I think the community’s been so anxious to have us open again,”
said Rick Schuiteman, the zoo’s executive director. “People are getting their vaccinations, so I think they’re just excited to get out, enjoy the weather and the zoo is a perfect place to do that.”
The new additions this year include 24 goats that can be found in the Indiana Family Farm, 7-month-old baby giraffe named Sukari and her mom named Faye, a baby Swamp monkey named Ajali and a a restaurant call “Ooz.” Guests have the option to feed and brush the new goats.
Also new this year, is the option to feed the stingrays. This costs five tokens, which is equivalent to five dollars.
There will be less COVID-19 restrictions than the abbreviated 2020 season, which Schuiteman said was a tough year for the zoo.
“We had drop in membership, we lost about 42 percent of our attendance last year, that was because of restrictions and mandates to follow so it was tough for us,” said Schuiteman. “Thankfully, we had a lot of people show up this year and renew or buy memberships.”
COVID-wise, the zoo is recommending, but not requiring, facial coverings and asking guests practice social distancing.
On Thursday and Friday, the zoo held member preview days, which drew in crowds of over 1,000 people.
The zoo’s summer hours include: May through August 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. April, September and October hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, visit the zoo’s website.