Zoos across the Czech Republic reopen Monday: what to know before you go

Prague Zoo and Prague Botanical Garden are both ready to welcome back visitors to their outdoor spaces from Monday, April 12.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 11.04.2021 10:36 (updated on 12.04.2021)

Prague Zoo will open its outdoor areas on Monday, April 12, to a limited number of people, following the end of the state of emergency. Other zoos across the Czech Republic such as the ones in Liberec, Brno, Plzeň, Ostrava, and Dvůr Králové have also announced over social media they will welcome visitors. Zoo Zlín has not announced a reopening, but is continuing its online fundraising.

As of April 12, it will also be again be possible to travel outside of one’s home district, so it will be possible to visit zoos in another city.

Prague Botanical Garden has also announced that it will be reopening to visitors as of Monday. The number of guests will be closely monitored and if limits are exceeded, the garden will notify visitors on its website. Indoor areas of the gardens including greenhouses will remain closed.

The Botanical Garden of the Charles University Science Faculty, located on Na Slupi Street in Prague 2, will remain closed until further notice.

Prague Zoo pointed out that due to government regulations that limit capacity to 20 percent, it was likely to reach capacity at peak times. The limited capacity is due to only to the need for keeping distance between groups of people but also due to the fact that the pavilions and other indoor spaces will be closed, and thus unable to absorb any of the pedestrian flow.

“During weekends with nice weather we will probably have no choice but to regulate the number of visitors so that it does not exceed 4,000 people at any time,” Prague Zoo said on its website.

The zoo recommends planning a weekend visit either only in the morning or only in the afternoon, as this should lead to more visitors taking turns at the zoo and reduce the risk of reaching capacity. On weekdays, when attendance is much lower, there should not be capacity problems. People can check how many people are at the zoo by checking the counter on the zoo’s website.

Visitors will be required to wear an FFP2 respirator or equivalent, meaning no homemade masks or simple cloth masks. Contactless disinfection stands will be located around the complex.

People are also urged to buy tickets in advance online, though tickets will also be available at the box office. Tickets purchased online will not have as specific time slot, but instead will be valid for six months. If the zoo is full, the ticket could be used on another day. Refreshment stands in the zoo will be open, but will not be selling alcohol. There will be no narrated feedings or guided tours, as these would encourage concentrations of people.

Opening hours will be daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. On weekdays, the main and southern entrances to the complex will be open and visitors can use the southern parking lot and the lot by Troja chateau. In addition, the northern entrance and lot will be open on weekends.

With any luck visitors will be able to see one of the zoo’s newest additions, a baby named Pustakawan, or Kawi for short. The 5-month-old male Sumatran orangutan has already started to venture away from his mother to spend time with other members of the group, and has been showing interest in tasting vegetables, despite his lack of teeth.

“He tasted avocado and spring onion a few days ago,” head primate breeder Martin Vojáček said.

Even though the zoo has been closed, time has been marching on. The former baby elephant Max just celebrated his fifth birthday. Female elephant Lakuna just celebrated one year and another baby elephant named Amalee isn’t far behind. There have been other recent births too, including an aardvark, a Philippine porcupine, and a Pesquet's parrot.

Prague Zoo has faced huge financial losses over the past year, as the expenses of feeding the animals and maintaining much of the staff have remained constant, even though there were few fee-paying visitors.

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Parking space for rent, 8m2

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Apartment for rent, 1+KK - Studio, 35m2

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There are several ways to support the zoo such as buying meal vouchers for animals, adopting or sponsoring animals (they stay at the zoo; it’s symbolic), or buying merchandise from the zoo’s e-shop.

Conditions for visiting other zoos across the country will be similar to those in Prague Zoo, save for the opening hours and ticketing procedures. Capacity will be limited to 20 percent, FFP2 respirators will be required, indoor spaces will be closed, and alcohol will not be sold.