Living Desert Zoo and Gardens reopen additional facilities in Palm Desert – NBC Palm Springs – News, weather, traffic, breaking news
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert will reopen additional amenities to the public starting Friday.
The zoo’s carousel, giraffe feeding and Wildlife Wonders Show are set to restart due to the recent revocation of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order, zoo officials said. Most interior and “highly affected” areas remain closed. Private safaris and take-out food service resumed last week.
“With the return of some of our beloved attractions, there is now even more to discover when you visit Living Desert,” said Allen Monroe, president and CEO of the zoo. “From the wallabies of Australian Adventures, to the majestic views of our giraffe savannah, to exclusive access to our nature and hiking trails, there is always something new to discover.”
Newsom last week lifted its Dec. 6 stay-at-home order, which was based on areas slipping below a 15% threshold of available intensive care space. He justified the cancellation of the order by citing projections from the CDPH showing that the availability of intensive care would recover next month. Riverside County is still in the most restrictive “purple” level of the Governor’s Safer Economy Blueprint framework.
The 80-acre zoo closed briefly after the stay-at-home order was announced in December, but reopened about a week later following a successful lobbying effort by local authorities.
The zoo opened amid strict coronavirus protocols, which limited activities primarily to outdoor spaces – the zoo’s hiking trails, botanical gardens and animal exhibits, most of which are hosted outside.
Some aspects of zoo operations that typically see people congregating have been eliminated so far.
Social distancing and other protocols to combat the spread of the coronavirus remain in place, including mandatory face coverings for all guests 3 years and older, a capacity limit and mandatory advance reservations.
The gift shop remains open with a 25% cap on guest occupancy.
The zoo, located at 47900 Portola Ave., is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Additional information about the zoo’s coronavirus protocols can be found at LivingDesert.org/Health.