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We’ve all made adjustments during this COIV-19 pandemic to take care of those we love, making sure our loved ones are safe and cared for.

Now imagine having more than 1,700 mouths to feed?

That’s one of the things that has been top of mind for Kansas City Zoo Director Randy Wisthoff. During his appearance on the Episode 384 KC Cares podcast, Wisthoff said the Zoo staff has been incredibly busy make sure all of the animals are fed and well cared for – and that includes continuing to fly in fresh fish for the penguins, otters and sea lions. Donning protective gear of masks and gloves limiting potential the spread of COVID-19 from humans to animals, staff has been out and about the 202-acre zoological park connecting with their population!

Wisthoff, who has been in the Zoo” business” 40-plus years, said this has been the most challenging time in his career. It’s been tough on everyone at the Zoo-humans and animals – during the two-month shutdown due to COVID-19. Zoo staffers have taken incredible precautions to protect the animals and themselves from this deadly virus 

  • Splitting care staff into separate teams to avoid getting sick
  • Rotating its 3-person vet crew to make sure the animals get medical attention needed without possible COVID exposure to each other or animals
  • Conducting enrichment activities for the animals to keep their minds alert

Wisthoff said some animals have noticed the absence of human visitors—particularly the sea lions and otters, who are quite social. At the same time, the Zoo’s social media team has put out lots of posts for the public to engage including the 24-hour penguin cam. 

The penguins even took a field trip to the Nelson-Atkins for an exclusive tour!

Following eight weeks of public closure, The Kansas City Zoo is opening back up, albeit with some limitations on just how “up close and personal” we humans can get to our animal fiends.

  • Guests have to reserve an entry time through the Zoo’s web site
  • A limited number of tickets are available
  • Indoor exhibits will use one-way traffic patterns to keep safe distance
  • No animal shows and Zookeeper chats for now. Virtual tours are available with a QR Code

Listen to Episode 384 KC Cares podcast and learn more about the workings of the Zoo during this crazy time!

So welcome back Kansas City Zoo as one of the places Kansas City cares about!

Full details are available on the web site: https://www.kansascityzoo.org/visitor-info/tickets-pricing/