SouthCoast’s Grand Re-Opening: Buttonwood Park Zoo Director Keith Lovett
As we prepare to enter Phase 2 of the Commonwealth's recovery plan on Monday, each morning with Michael & Maddie, we'll spotlight a SouthCoast business leader who is fighting to continue to grow even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This morning we spoke to Buttonwood Park Zoo Director Keith Lovett. It's been an eventful week at the zoo mixed with emotions. On the one hand, the zoo is mourning the passing of what has been referred to as the zoo's true "real" bear, Ursula. The death of Ursula was expected, as she was diagnosed with a problematic heart condition and other age-related issues.
On a much more positive note, the lights for the zoo were flipped back on yesterday for the first time in months. Regulations for zoos were outlined by the governor for Phase 1. One of the most important COVID-19 regulations for the zoo is the number of guests that are allowed to visit. The zoo is only selling tickets online, and the zoo is controlling the number of tickets that are sold at any given day and time. Social distancing will be in practice throughout the entire park with one-way traffic.
Interestingly enough, one of the changes made to the zoo has given guests a chance to walk entirely around the elephant habitat with a 360-degree view.
The carousel and the train, unfortunately, is not expected to be activated until the final phase when amusement parks get the green light.
The foodservice and retail store will be open for window service, but no tables or benches will be available.