Ecomuseum Zoo will resume seven-days-a-week operations by March 1
By John Jantak
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
The Ecomuseum Zoo is once again accepting visitors to its native wildlife refuge in Ste. Anne de Bellevue under rigid COVID-19 safety protocols.
The Ecomuseum Zoo in Ste. Anne de Bellevue has reopened its doors to the general public and is welcoming visitors again thanks to the recent easing of some COVID-19 restrictions by the province which has allowed the centre to resume its operations, albeit on a scaled back level for the time being.
All visitors will have to follow strict social distancing protocols such as the mandatory wearing of masks at all times including outdoors. The zoo’s Executive Director David Rodrigue said the measures are necessary to ensure the health and safety of all visitors and to minimize the risk of transmitting Coronavirus.
“There are two reasons for this,” Rodrigue told The Journal. “The first is social responsibility. The last thing we or other businesses need is a third wave and another lockdown. The other reason is because we removed the one way direction along the trail and made it two ways again. We want people to adhere to our regulations but the one thing we can’t control is individual social responsibility. It’s up to everyone to do their share.”
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Saint Anne de Bellevue’s Ecomuseum Zoo Director General David Rodrigue is happy to announce the facility is again accepting visitors to its native wildlife refuge while still adhering to rigid COVID-19 safety protocols.
Full-time operations by March 1
The Ecomuseum is presently accepting visitors only between Wednesday and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The last admission of the day is at 4 p.m. The Ecomuseum will be open seven days a week beginning March 1.
“We just reopened on February 12,” said Rodrigue. “We were closed for seven months in 2020. Our second lockdown began last October and we were recently given permission to reopen. By March we’ll be open seven days a week. We’re just hoping it stays like that.”
Visitors were very excited when they heard the Ecomuseum was reopening, said Rodrigue. “We were anxious to see people again and I think people were anxious to come back again. Plus I feel the pandemic had an effect on that. Everyone just wants to get out,” he said.
On-line ticket sales only
When the Ecomuseum got word they would be allowed to reopen, the scant remaining staff did everything necessary to ensure they had a successful reopening. “Once we knew we were going to reopen we turned around and tried to get everything in place and did everything that needed to be done,” said Rodrigue. “It included rehiring some staff because we lost quite a few people that we had to put on temporary leave.”
Visitors are advised that they must purchase their tickets on-line before heading out to the Ecomuseum. There are no direct sales of tickets at the door. Visitors will also have to specify a one-hour time slot for their visit from between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. “People can stay as long as they want but they have to enter at a specific time. This is to try to spread people around,” said Rodrigue.
People need to their part to ensure everyone’s safety,” he reiterated. “The last thing we need is to be closed down again.”
For more information, visit the Ecomuseum Zoo website at zooecomuseum.ca/en/visitor-information/.