'Nothing brings me more joy': Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo seeing steady visits despite COVID-19 pandemic
SASKATOON -- At the start of the pandemic, the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo closed down to the public for several months but reopened in July.
The Zoo is now seeing a steady flow of visitors from families and school trips from the generally good weather.
“You know even on a day like this, which is a beautiful day, we’ll be very crowded,” zoo manager Jeff Mitchell told CTV News.
“People will come out and we’ve got wide, wide paths and so people can socially distance appropriately and still have an opportunity to come out.”
While the 60-acre zoo is mostly outdoors, visitors must wear masks inside buildings like the meerkat house.
Some animals, such as cats, bats ferrets, are at risk and can contract symptoms of COVID-19.
“We’ve had to take other precautions of keeping people back a little further than they normally would have an opportunity to,” Michell said.
Some attractions such as the Kinsmen Express Train and Children’s Zoo are closed. Certain animals are also closed off from the public since there’s no way to implement one way paths around their enclosures.
“The ones you can’t see are the ones that are in the buildings, a lot of the reptiles, the bats and insects and things like that.”
Other zoos around the country have had to stockpile food for the animals such as the Toronto Zoo. Others, like the Cherry Brook Zoo in Saint John New Brunswick have had to close down.
But Mitchell says visits have been a little bit higher than usual.
“Nothing brings me more joy than being the manager of this facility and seeing kids running through the Zoo and being able to be kids again.”
The zoo is open all year-round and people can visit by donation until the end of the month.