Brookfield Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo, Shedd Aquarium prepare safety protocols for reopening

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As zoos and other attractions get ready to welcome back visitors, they're also getting their safety protocols to protect against the spread of COVID-19 in place.

Titus and Brutus, Brookfield Zoo's new 4-year-old African male lions are waiting to meet Chicago area visitors for the first time.

When the zoo reopens its doors, on July 1 for members and July 8 for the general public, visitors will see a new animatronic dinosaur exhibit located outside, throughout the park. They will also need to take some extra steps and adhere to certain rules.

"What we are going to need to do is have both members and guests go onto the website to secure a time entry ticket," said Brookfield Zoo Spokesperson Leah Rippe.

Limiting capacity, social distancing markers hand sanitizer stations throughout the park are all part of Brookfield's new COVID-19 safety protocol. Visitors will also only be allowed to see the outdoor exhibits.

"You won't be able to go into Tropic World, you won't be able to see primates or our dolphins in action," Rippe said.

But you will be able to walk around 216 acres in any direction you want.

Lincoln Park Zoo, which opens Friday to members and Monday for the general public, will only allow visitors to move one way around the park due to its smaller footprint. One way in and one way out is also the new protocol at the Shedd Aquarium, which opens to members on July 1 and the public on July 3.

"We are allowing 375 people into the building every hour," said Shedd Spokesperson Andrea Rodgers.

To prevent large groups from gathering, aquatic shows and the 4-D theater will be closed, but everything else in the Shedd is open with timed tickets and face masks required.

"We have multiple paths, but they are one way. There will be floor decals to guide people," Rodgers said. "We also have a lot of signage, hand sanitizer stations around everywhere."

Whether it's the zoos or the Shedd, all Chicago area attractions are all strongly recommending guests go online to book a timed ticket and read the COVID-19 safety guidelines before visiting.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.