BROWNSVILLE — Starting Monday, the Gladys Porter Zoo will be changing its hours of operation and closing early during weekdays — Monday through Friday.
The zoo will be open at 9 a.m. and all building exhibits will be closed by 2 p.m. Although the building exhibits and gift shop will be closed, visitors will still be able to walk around the zoo, officials said.
Whether you reserve your spot on the website using the timed-ticketing system, or simply walk up and buy your ticket at the admission gate, starting next Monday, the last guest entry time will be 12:30 p.m., zoo officials said in a press release.
Visitors are still required to wear facial coverings and follow social distancing guidelines.
Weekend hours, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will remain unchanged.
While the admission and membership entrances will be closed at 12:30 p.m., some zoo amenities will remain open. The Lion’s Pride concession stand, the first one that guests encounter on their one-way route around the zoo, will close at 1:30 p.m. and The Oasis concession, near the end of a guests’ trek, will close at 2 p.m.
All of the indoor, air-conditioned exhibits currently open with 25% building capacity, including the Herpetarium, the Russell Aquatic Ecology Center, and Australia exhibit, will close at 2 p.m.
Officials said the changes are necessary due to lower than projected attendance which is understandable due to the uncertainty of current times.
“Even with all zoo safety measures in place, some families are cautious about venturing out. With lower attendance comes less revenue. After an analysis of attendance and revenue data, it was determined that closing early during the week would cut down on operating costs without seriously impacting our guests’ opportunities to visit.”