CLEVELAND — Get ready to once again see "lions and tigers and bears, oh my!"
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo announced Thursday it plans to reopen on June 17 following a three-month closure due to coronavirus concerns. The move came just hours after Gov. Mike DeWine included zoos on a list of Ohio entertainment facilities that will be allowed to start back up again next week.
"After nearly three months, we can’t wait to reopen Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to our community," Executive Director Chris Kuhar, Ph.D., said in a statement. "As we work diligently to reopen, safety will continue to be our number one priority to protect our employees, guests and all of the animals in our care."
During the shutdown, officials were allowing visitors to drive through the zoo in their cars, and that option will still be available through June 14. When the public is allowed back in, strict safety precautions will be in place, which the Metroparks plans to share more details on in the coming days.
"We want to thank the community for their overwhelming support over the past several months," Dr. Kuhar said. "While we prepare to reopen, there are still a few opportunities left to experience the Zoo from your vehicle for the first time in over 100 years."
All zoo memberships will be automatically reactivated on the day the facility reopens.