New Jersey's Turtle Back Zoo reopens with new safety rules

The cheers from children were muffled behind masks but the excitement came through loud and clear at the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange.

For Weaver Wilson and his mom Kelly, the trip to the zoo, which reopened on Thursday, marked their first attempt at salvaging a quasi-normal summer. Weaver said he loved seeing every animal he could. Kelly said that the coronavirus pandemic cut off so many fun things for kids this year that they didn't mind dealing with the rain. Another parent, Jamal, told FOX 5 NY that it was great to bring his kid after being stuck at home for a while.

Turtle Back's Caitlin Sharp said the zoo's new procedures include required face masks and temperature checks. Also, visiting the zoo is by timed ticket only for now. That way, the staff can control the capacity and make sure everyone maintains the proper distance from each other.

Most areas of the zoo will be accessible. And even the popular mini train ride is fully operational.

Essex County Turtle Back Zoo | 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ 07052 | 973-731-5800 |


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