LUDLOW, MA (WGGB/WHSM) -- Phase one part two of the Massachusetts reopening plan kicked off today loosening the restrictions for a variety of outdoor activities and businesses.

A local zoo who welcomed guests in for the first time in months, and officials said while things look a little different inside, they’re excited to be able to open again.

“We had a really nice crowd come in nice and slow,” said Wally Lupa, director of animal care and facility development at Lupa Zoo in Ludlow. “We had a little drizzle of rain this morning, and that kind of slowed things down, which was perfect. It was a god sent, but we’ve had a nice steady stream.”

Under phase one, part two of the state’s reopening plan, Lupa Zoo in Ludlow opened their gates on Monday to customers for the first time in months.

“It’s exciting and scary because we had to put a lot of money up front,” Lupa said. “We put in new washing stations, new signage, plastic barriers.”

Lupa said that while the zoo is open, a variety of their facilities are still temporarily closed.

Guests have to enter and leave the zoo from separate areas, no one gets in without a mask, and the gift shop and food stands remain temporarily closed.

Lupa said during the shutdown, his staff was focused on getting ready for the moment they were given the green light to reopen.

“We’re still here feeding everything, taking care of the plants, anticipating everyone to come in, we are about 14 acres, so it’s a lot of grass and a lot of plants and flowers because we wanted to be ready for this day. When people come in, they expect a different quality,” he said.

While the gates are open to the community again, he said he is still missing the way the zoo would normally look this time of year.

“We’re hoping to have a nice steady stream of clientele, we do miss our school groups, the sound of laughter, we usually host 500 to 600 kids a morning,” he said. “Here, six in the afternoon from schools all over western Mass, now we’d be seeing a lot of camps and homeschool kids and now we’re not going to see that.”

Lupa Zoo is discussing the possibility of closing on Mondays to do a deep cleaning of the zoo.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.