We are excited to announce that the Phoenix Zoo will reopen on Friday, September 4!
Fall hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., with member early entry at 8 a.m.
At this time, all animals will be out enjoying their habitats. A portion of the rhinoceros exhibit viewing area will be blocked off, but the rhinoceros will be able to be seen. Mother Nature gave some of the animals a bit of an ‘extreme home makeover’, so it will be fun to see how some explore their surroundings.
The Zoo was closed from Tuesday, September 1 through Thursday, September 3 for massive clean-up efforts after the monsoon ripped through the park Monday evening. The Zoo had never been closed multiple days in a row in the nearly 53 year history. Several large trees, some as old as 70 years, were toppled into exhibits, fences, and viewer railings. The large majority of the trees have been removed and the Zoo will be able to use several of them as browse for the animals, and “exhibit furniture”. Parts of the trees that the Zoo cannot use will be collected by the City of Tempe and used as mulch.
In addition to downed trees, numerous shade structures and awnings were lost, ropes in the Monkey Village exhibit had been blown down, the entrance sign to the Komodo dragon exhibit was destroyed, two trees that were to be a part of the ZooLights display, already wrapped in lights, were toppled over and destroyed. Bamboo fencing in several areas of the Zoo was destroyed and branches, leaves and debris were littered throughout the entire park. Fortunately, no animals were injured and all are well and accounted for.
Staff and outside help have been working double-time to get the Zoo back to working order to accommodate guests and allow our animals to once again enter their habitats. While extensive clean-up and repairs will take several weeks, the Zoo is ready for the public!
We have been overwhelmed and grateful for the outpouring of support including messages of kind words, offering to help with the clean-up, offers to purchase new trees and have also received monetary donations, totaling nearly $2,000. We encourage anyone who wants to make a donation to the Zoo for the ongoing clean-up and maintenance costs, to visit our Donation page and click on the Annual Fund donation button (you can also use the “Donate Now” button on our Facebook page). We are also available via our telephone at 602.286.3800 to take donations and answer any questions. In addition to direct monetary donations, we are able to accept gift cards to any local nursery, Lowes and Home Depot. You can also view our wish list online to see other items we are in need of. As one of the largest non-profit zoos in the country we are extremely grateful for the offerings that have come our way. We know that there are many Valley organizations that were also affected by the storm, and truly appreciate the wonderful support of our community.
Given the events of the past few days, we are thrilled that the Zoo will be open in time to celebrate the already planned, one-year birthday party for our Bornean orangutan, Jiwa. Festivities begin on Saturday, September 5, at 9 a.m. and run until 2 p.m., with highlights of a birthday cake feast for Jiwa at 10 a.m. followed by presents at 1 p.m. Visit our event page for more information.
We will update this information if anything changes. Thank you for your understanding.