Cork's Fota Wildlife Park to reopen tomorrow but numbers will be limited due to coronavirus

Cork's Fota Wildlife Park to reopen tomorrow but numbers will be limited due to coronavirus
Two of the male rhinos vying for the attention of the new female rhino in Fota Wildlife Park which will reopen to the public tomorrow.Photo Darragh Kane

FOTA Wildlife Park has announced that it will re-open its gates to the public tomorrow.

The park will open for the first time since it closed on the March 24 due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. 

Fota Wildlife Park, a conservation charity, is initially limiting numbers at any one time in the 100-acre Park to 500 people and has introduced measures such a pre-booking system for visitors and has set up a one-way walking experience that reinforces social distancing. 

Other measures include the continued closure of indoor areas like the cafes and activities that may encourage people to gather, such as feeding times and playgrounds.

Two baby Spider Monkeys with their mothers in Fota Wildlife Park.Photo Darragh Kane
Two baby Spider Monkeys with their mothers in Fota Wildlife Park.Photo Darragh Kane

Sean McKeown, the Park’s director said:

“We are delighted to be able to open our gates once more and very excited to finally see the arrival of visitors back to the Park. It’s has been a very challenging time for us here as a not-for-profit conservation organisation, but we’ve been humbled by the support from the public and we’ve received hundreds of euro in donations through our website. 

"We get queries from the public daily as to when we’re reopening and what we ask now is for some patience at this time as these systems and pre-booking protocols are all still very new to us.” 

He continued: “We’d also like to exhort everyone to follow official advice at all times and for only those living within the five-kilometre radius of Fota to travel to the Park during phase one of the government’s Roadmap for Re-opening Businesses. Our priority at this time is for the continued safety and well-being of our visitors, staff members and of course the animals, so we ask everyone to adhere to the recommended social distancing advice.” 

Park management have outlined that they have carried out extra cleaning, disinfecting and the placement of hand sanitisers throughout the Park.

Full details are available at www.fotawildlife.ie.

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