Potter Park Zoo keeping everyone safe
By Chloe Gregg
If you’ve been feeling cooped up and bored at home, watching as each worsening day of 2020 goes by, perhaps some fresh air and exotic animals are just what you need.
Fortunately, Lansing residents have the 102-acre Potter Park Zoo, located at 1301 S. Pennsylvania Ave., to explore right in their neighborhood. As the oldest public zoo in Michigan (it opened in 1915), Potter Park Zoo has over 160 different animal species, including lions and rhinos.
The zoo’s hours are currently 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. Ticket rates and sales are available on the zoo’s website at www.potterparkzoo.org.
“We’re glad that we have the opportunity to be open,” said Potter Park Zoo Communications Manager Kaiti Chritz. “If you’re someone who gets squeamish when thinking about crowds of people, don’t worry.”
Chritz confirmed that Potter Park Zoo is making sure it limits the amount of people inside its walls at one time. Due to capacity limits, buying tickets online seems like the route to go to avoid waiting for the next available time slot.
Potter Park has set up the zoo according to current pandemic guidelines. There is an ample amount of hand sanitizer available throughout any stroll through the zoo.
According to the zoo’s website, “Signs and paw prints have been placed throughout the zoo to guide guests in proper social distance. Please be patient at viewing areas and, if all marked spaces are occupied, wait until a household exits the viewing area to take their place.”
All indoor viewing areas, such as the Bird and Reptile House and the Feline and Primate House, are unfortunately closed due to COVID-19, but guests can still view these animals in their outdoor enclosures.
According to Chritz, most of the zoo’s treasured activities are closed for now, including Wings of Wonder, pony rides and the petting zoo.
However, the Savanna Grill, with a new menu, is open, as are camel rides, with “a lot of new safety precautions,” Chritz said.
“Potter Park is still hoping to host a few fall and winter events, but we’re still uncertain right now,” Chritz said.
So, if you’ve got nothing better to do and you have a mask, why not take a trip to your local zoo?