FORT WORTH (1080 KRLD)- Zoos and water parks are among organizations that can reopen Friday across Texas. They can open at 25 percent capacity.
The Fort Worth Zoo is requiring online reservations. Members and non-members can find links to make reservations at https://www.fortworthzoo.org/safe-start.
"We actually overwhelmed the ticketing system yesterday," says the Fort Worth Zoo's Avery Elander. "People appear to be excited to purchase tickets and come back out to reconnect with nature and wildlife. We're excited to be able to give people that platform to see animals and spend time with their families outdoors."
Elander says reservations are required to help the zoo calculate occupancy requirements and limit interaction at ticket booths. Ticket booths are closed to prevent the exchange of cash or credit cards.
Fort Worth Zoo has opened outdoor exhibits but taped off six foot distances on the ground and on railings along exhibits. The zoo also has taped arrows for people to follow so every is walking in the same direction.
The zoo has a "clean team" that will spend their days disinfecting "high touch" areas.
"We have staff who is dedicated to maintaining the cleanliness of the park. They'll be cleaning those frequently touched surfaces, like tables and chairs, door handles, railings and exhibit glass," Elander says.
The zoo has set up hand washing stations in several areas.
Indoor exhibits are closed, but interactive exhibits are still open. Restaurants and gift shops at the zoo have taped out six foot distances and will also be limited to 25 percent capacity.
"We're all excited about being out of the house and doing something we all like, especially seeing all the animals," one woman said as she arrived with her family for one of the first reservations. "All of us have our own favorites."
"Snakes, sharks, giraffes, gorillas," her grandson continued.
The Fort Worth Zoo is open with extended hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m Monday through Friday and 9 a.m to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.