Oglebay Good Zoo welcomes back visitors to new exhibits, guidelines

Community

WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Oglebay Good Zoo has officially opened to the public after being closed for weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Although the zoo has been given the green light by the governor to reopen, Oglebay is keeping health and safety a top priority.

We want to encourage contact-less transactions, so we won’t be handing out maps. We do use digital maps you can access on your phone to show you around the zoo. We encourage guests to go in a one-way path around the zoo to encourage social distancing. And we will have a capped capacity at the zoo of 550 people. Seems like a lot of people, but over 30 acres that enables us to have 500 square foot per person when they are spread out.

Dr. Joe Greathouse, Director – Oglebay Good Zoo

Although not required, visitors will be encouraged to wear Personal Protective Equipment.

Four new exhibits have been added, including the African Cape Crusted Porcupines and the cheetah exhibit is bigger and better.

The Good Zoo has joined a conservation program to ensure the survival of Red Wolves, one of the world’s most endangered species.

There are about 40 left in the wild and about and 200 left in human care. We have had a good history of managing Red Wolfs here at the Zoo from 1990 to 2006. We have produced 21 Red Wolf pups and some of those individuals went back to the wild, so it’s a great conservation program for our institution to participate with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. And our students from the West Liberty University Zoo Science major, those students are learning to take care of one of the rarest animals on Earth.

Dr. Joe Greathouse, Director – Oglebay Good Zoo

With the doors finally reopened, zoo officials say the animals are happy to have visitors once again.

When we started opening—even before we started opening—the animals would definitely notice anytime someone went by. They wanted to see people. They were used to those interactions because they were opened 365 days a year and as we have started to see guests come back, they are little more comfortable. They are sitting at the window and checking everybody out.

Dr. Joe Greathouse, Director – Oglebay Good Zoo

Several summer programs are also returning, including ‘Encounters with Animals.’ Home to more than 50 species of animals, the Oglebay Good Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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