Colorado Springs, CO – Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has been in what is known among the staff as “sprint mode” for the past three days to ensure that guests are able to visit again, starting Saturday. The Zoo will reopen for members at 8 a.m. and for the general public at 9 a.m. on Sat., Aug. 11 after being closed following an unprecedented hail storm on Monday afternoon. The storm caused guest and staff injuries, animal injuries and deaths, and extensive property damage.
Although permanent repairs will take many months to complete, the Zoo will be ready to welcome guests back on Saturday, thanks to temporary short-term fixes like tarps and plywood to cover the spaces where skylights used to be.
The Sky Ride will be one of the few features of the Zoo that will not be ready for guests on Saturday, due to the strict inspection protocols necessary to ensure safety before resuming rides.
Animal keepers have been asked to get animals ready to resume “life as normal,” which involves restarting the natural behavior demonstrations that are usually a draw for guests to watch. Tomorrow, the demos will be for “Zoo family” only, but will serve as an important step toward getting routines back to normal for both animals and staff.
Undrivable guest vehicles in the main parking lot are dwindling from nearly 400 immediately after the storm on Monday down to less than 40 today. Vehicles have been towed to one corner of the south parking lot, which will allow us to finish removing broken glass and other debris from the pavement in preparation for guests on Saturday. The remaining vehicles will be allowed to stay at the Zoo until 8 a.m. on Tuesday. If they are still unclaimed, they will be towed to a monitored facility at the owner’s expense.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that receives no tax support, which is unusual among zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
About Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society was founded in 1926. Today, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s ONLY mountain zoo, offers comprehensive education programs, exciting conservation efforts and truly fantastic animal experiences. It is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s hope that guests fall in love with animals and nature, and take action to protect them. Of the 230 zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of just nine operating without tax support. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo depends on admissions, membership dues and donations for funding.