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Edmonton Valley Zoo reopens Thursday in time for spring baby boom

Click to play video: 'Edmonton Valley Zoo reopens Thursday in time for spring baby boom' Edmonton Valley Zoo reopens Thursday in time for spring baby boom
A popular Edmonton attraction is about to reopen and the timing couldn't be better. There's a spring baby boom at the Edmonton Valley Zoo, so we sent Morgan Black to check out the newest addition – Mar 23, 2021

The Edmonton Valley Zoo will be open for outdoor exhibits beginning on Thursday.

Ahead of its reopening, there’s a number of new residents ready to greet visitors.

In the past few weeks a baby camel, a pair of takins and a few baby lambs have been born.

A baby camel takes a walk at the Edmonton Valley Zoo on March 23, 2021. Morris Gamblin/Global News

The Edmonton Valley Zoo’s director Gary Dewar said it seems the timing perfect for a rebirth at the zoo.

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“Maybe it’s a bit of a coincidence but I’ll suggest it was all part of the grand plan to have all these new babies just in time for our reopening,” Dewar laughed.

Zookeeper Joëlle Epp said the female camel doesn’t yet have a name, but she does have a big personality.

“We’ve been dying to show her off. She’s really sweet,” Epp said. “We will eventually hold a contest for the public to help name her.”

Dewar said he and his staff have been waiting eagerly to welcome the public back on the grounds.

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A baby camel gets fed on March 23, 2021. Morris Gamblin/Global News

“It’s been a long time coming. We shut down on Jan. 3,” he explained. “Our zookeepers work so passionately with the animals… but some of them really do enjoy the interaction and engagement with the public.”

Read more: Edmonton Valley Zoo opens new habitat for endangered tigers

The Alberta government did not give the green light for Step 3 on Monday, which would have allowed a number of spaces like movie theaters, casinos and zoos to reopen for indoor gatherings.

However, the current health orders allow outdoor components of the zoo to remain open.

Read more: No Step 3 but where is Alberta headed when it comes to COVID-19?

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Washrooms will be open for guest use and there is also food and beverage facilities available.

“We will wait for Step 3 before we introduce the indoor amenities to our guests,” Dewar said.

“It does mean a different experience but there are still many great reasons to come, including those babies.”

Read more: Edmonton Valley Zoo to reopen, but with some changes amid COVID-19 pandemic

The zoo has implemented one-way paths and requires guests to wear masks. Capacity will also be limited to a daily attendance of 1,000 people (or 100 tickets per half hour time slot).

“It’s a safe, fun family event for everyone to enjoy,” Dewar said. “I know we aren’t alone [awaiting Step 3], other Edmonton attractions are also excited that it’s coming eventually.”

If you want to visit the zoo, you will need to pre-book a ticket here.

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