Virginia Zoo attendance on the rise as weather warms

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Posted at 6:39 AM, Apr 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-08 08:10:00-04

NORFOLK, Va. - If you're planning to visit the Virginia Zoo anytime soon, make sure you get your tickets with time to spare.

On Tuesday, the zoo reported it had sold out of its timed tickets for the day.

With sunny weather and many local schools on Spring Break, it's not entirely unsurprising, especially when you consider the zoo is still operating at just 30 percent capacity.

But Executive Director Greg Bockheim is pleased with where attendance is headed as the weather warms.

"The grounds look spectacular, many of our pollenator gardens are now flowering and we've got so many baby animals to look at. More giraffe than we've ever had on exhibit. We have six giraffe," he told News 3.

Bockheim says tickets for admission still must be purchased in advance, with roughly 400 available each hour. It's a measure introduced last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Masks are required at the entrance and recommended throughout the park.

"We've added new signage just this past week which really recommends people wear their masks all the time, reminding them to wear their masks. We've even made our signage bigger because we know attendance is going to increase throughout the spring and summer," he said.

Guests who visit will notice a renovated gift shop, Bockheim says, and a new train locomotive for travel around the zoo.

Looking ahead, the Virginia Zoo is wrapping up its Spring Break kids camp, which the zoo says is completely full.

Ten weeks of summer kids camps are also planned. Click HERE for more information.