The Detroit Zoo reopens for members with capacity limits


  • Patti Truesdell/Detroit Zoological Society

Since closing amid the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March, the Detroit Zoo has been losing $2.5 million each month. Now, the zoo has unveiled its reopening plan, starting Monday, June 8 — but don't expect to go wild, as the first wave of ticket reservations are for zoo members only.

The Detroit Zoological Society announced Wednesday night that they'll be opening the gates to its 125 acres of wildlife on Monday starting with zoo members. Those members interested in visiting the zoo between June 8-12 can reserve tickets starting Friday, June 5. During the initial re-opening, the zoo will accommodate 1,000 visitors per day but will cap the number of people allowed at once at 500.

Ticket reservations for non-members will start next week, which they plan on honoring starting June 12 and beyond. According to the announcement, reservations can be made up to two weeks in advance.

It's time to emerge from hibernation and come stretch your legs at the Detroit Zoo! The Detroit Zoological Society is...

Posted by Detroit Zoo on Wednesday, June 3, 2020

In anticipation of its reopening, the zoo has also outlined new safety and sanitation measures, including requiring all visitors 2 and older to wear a face mask, unless a medical condition prevents it. Masks will also be made available for purchase at the main entrance.

Visitors are asked to utilize the 50+ hand-sanitizing stations throughout the grounds, as well as respect social-distancing markers in viewing areas, habitats, and near food vendors. Walk-up food vendors will be open, as will gift kiosks, where the zoo asks visitors to use debit/credit cards to limit cash transactions. The main Zoofari Market will remain closed.

Indoor habitats like the butterfly garden, wildlife gallery, and the barn will remain closed during the initial reopening. For the most part, outdoor viewing areas are open, with the exception of the red panda walkway, prairie dog bubbles, and the giraffe deck. However, these habitats can also be viewed from the main pathways.

Since closing, the zoo launched virtual educational programming, as well as a series of live feeds from various habitats, including prairie dogs, snow monkeys, and the peregrine falcon nest constructed in the zoo's water tower. In March, the zoo let its penguin Pickles roam the grounds, and it was very cute.

For more information on the zoo's safety measures and ticket reservations, visit

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