San Antonio Zoo to open for drive-thru experience

San Antonio Zoo

While zoos and aquariums around the world are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, San Antonio Zoo in Texas has come up with an innovative solution to allow visitors inside.

San Antonio Zoo has announced the launch of its new Drive-Thru Zoo tour, allowing visitors to enjoy the zoo from the safety and comfort of their own vehicle. The new tour route will showcase many of the zoo’s most-loved animal inhabitants, such as big cats, bears and more.

Guests will pay $60 per car for the experience, with a special discount for members and passholders, who will pay $32 per car. During the tour, visitors can listen to a special audio tour, which explains more about the animals that they can see.

A unique experience

The solution means that visitors can still enjoy a day out to the zoo while maintaining safe social distancing. The experience lasts between 30 minutes and an hour, and guests can even enjoy curbside food and drink options, although they must wear a mask when exiting their vehicle to use public restrooms.

“This is a very unique and safe way for families to see the zoo while we are closed from the comfort of their own car,” Tim Morrow, president and CEO of San Antonio Zoo, said in a news release. “This new, creative way to see the zoo will be a gradual step towards our plan to reopen to foot traffic when we are given the ‘green light’ and the time is right.”

Due to COVID-19, the zoo closed its doors on 14 March. Like other attractions around the world, it is taking a financial hit as a result, while still needing to spend money on the food and welfare of the animals in its care.

Meanwhile, one zoo in Europe has successfully trialed a limited reopening. Kolmården Zoo in Sweden began by opening at weekends during April with several extra safety precautions in place. It will now extend opening times from 1 May.