Niabi Zoo gears up to reopen next month

Local News

There’s some good news for animal lovers!

Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley is set to reopen next month on April 11 after being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and winter.

“April 11 will be our first full day of opening to the general public. The extra great news is that we can open our buildings now, and we can allow more people to come into the zoo at a given time,” says Lee Jackson, Niabi Zoo Director.

It hasn’t been an easy year. Jackson says the zoo lost more than a third of its revenue since the closure.

“I think, what a lot of people don’t understand is, while we are tax supported, only about 26% of our budget is covered by property tax. The rest is earned revenue here on the zoo grounds. So, it really hit us hard,” says Jackson.

Next month, doors will be open, but of course, with safety protocols in place.

“We ask that people socially distance, and we’ll have online ticket sales, so we strongly encourage anyone to get their tickets ahead of time. We’re going to ask that you wear a mask in certain areas and definitely in all of our buildings,” says Jackson.

Jackson says there are a lot of new plans for guests.

“Particularly, for our buildings last year that we couldn’t share with you. Now, we’re going to be able to show them to you. We have a lot of new, exciting things coming along, including our white rhinos, which will be coming late spring, early summer,” says Jackson.

Tickets can be purchased up to three weeks in advance.

You can go to the Niabi Zoo website for more information.

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