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The Oakland Zoo welcomed back visitors Wednesday after being forced to close their doors in late December during a second statewide shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Today is a great day,” executive vice president Nik Dehejia said. “Seeing all the families excited to come back and get outside … we are so happy to be open after being closed for almost 60 days.”

Zoo officials said they would follow guidelines implemented by the state and Alameda County Public Health Departments to ensure guests’ and animals’ safety. The number of visitors will be limited to enforce social distancing; advanced ticketing will be required; and all guests are required to wear face masks.

The reopening also means that the zoo will revive its holiday Glowfari event, which features larger-than-life animal lanterns; the event resumes Friday.

Visitors walk past the giraffe exhibit at the Oakland Zoo on Wednesday. The zoo, which had been closed since late December due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reopened its doors to visitors after a shutdown of nearly 60 days. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group) 
A baby baboon stands on a platform at the zoo. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group) 
Aaron Ruff and daughter Evangeline, 3, check out the baboon exhibit Wednesday at the Oakland Zoo. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group) 
A sign informs visitors that face coverings are required at the zoo. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group) 
Jackie, an American black bear statue and gift from Steven and Jacqueline Kane, wears a face mask. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group) 
Staff members feed a pair of giraffe. executive vice president Nik Dehejia said. “We are so happy to be open after being closed for almost 60 days,” executive vice president Nik Dehejia said Wednesday. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group) 
A pair of meerkats focus on visitors outside their exhibit at the zoo. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)