Update: Randall Oaks Zoo unable to open under Phase 3 guidelines

  • Kath Ellinghausen, Manager of Interpretation and Recreation Services at Randall Oaks Park & Zoo, shows off Honey the skunk to visitors at Randall Oaks Zoo in West Dundee.

    Kath Ellinghausen, Manager of Interpretation and Recreation Services at Randall Oaks Park & Zoo, shows off Honey the skunk to visitors at Randall Oaks Zoo in West Dundee. Courtesy of Randall Oaks Zoo

 
Submitted by Katie Keller
Updated 6/11/2020 4:44 PM

Update: The Dundee Township Park District regretfully announces that they are unable to open the Randall Oaks Zoo at this time. They had planned to utilize a new guided tour structure, with capacity limited to groups of 10 or fewer using online reservations. Despite these efforts, the Park District Risk Management Agency has advised that state guidelines do not allow for zoos to open in Phase 3 even with these new procedures in place. Their top priority is the health and safety of staff, guests, volunteers, and the animals in their care. It is the park district's responsibility to do what they can to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Zoo staff look forward to the day when they can have families back at the zoo visiting our furry friends.

The Randall Oaks Zoo in West Dundee will open for annual members on June 12, and all guests are welcome to visit the zoo beginning on June 13. The zoo was initially set to open for the season on April 4, but due to COVID-19, the zoo has remained closed for two months following the state's orders.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The zoo will be opening with care as we keep the health and safety of our guests and animals in mind. The staff has been working on a phased reopening plan for several weeks, which includes the implementation of new protocols designed to keep its guests safe. During the first phase of opening, reservations are required as capacity has been reduced. To stay within social distancing guidelines, the zoo will begin offering 45-minute educator-led tours through the zoo in groups of 10.

Guests will be required to schedule a time to visit before arriving at the zoo. The zoo will not be able to accommodate guests without an online reservation. If spots are available, guests may register up to an hour before the designated time slot. Time slots can be reserved at www.dtpd.org/randall-oaks-zoo

Admission during this time of operation has changed since guests are receiving a guided tour by a zoo educator. Guests will be able to ask questions and learn more about the animals who call Randall Oaks Zoo home!

Admission to Randall Oaks Zoo during the interim period of social distancing is $6 for Dundee Township residents and $8 for nonresidents, children ages one and under are free. Also, guests will be able to purchase feed cups for the animals for only $1.

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Here are a few other things that may look different during this time. Pony rides will not be operating at this time. Fridays will be reserved for zoo members only. If you'd like to become a zoo member and receive all the membership benefits, it's easy, just visit our website for all the details.

The animals are anxiously awaiting visitors after the extended closure of the zoo. So, plan your visit today! Visit our website at www.dtpd.org/randall-oaks-zoo/ for more information on our revised operations, what to expect before your visit, and to reserve your time slot to visit.

The Randall Oaks Zoo is located at 1180 N. Randall Road in West Dundee. Open daily beginning June 13, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with the last tour beginning at 4:20 p.m.

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