Update: Detroit Zoo is Open on Labor Day, Few Disruptions

Saturday's storm knocked out power to The Detroit Zoo, which is open today after cleanup.

Update, 9:30 a.m.: The Detroit Zoo is open for business on Labor Day with few disruptions from the storms that blew through on Saturday leaving it without power. The train and all the rides are operating and most concession stands are open today. 

Today is the last chance for visitors to see the summer exhibit Dinosauria. Tickets are $4 with Zoo admission for visitors 2 years and older and are available at the main entrance, or the Dinosauria ticket booth.

Sunday, 11:45 a.m.: lost power Saturday night after storms swept through the area, and is running on generator power today, but is slowly opening areas and cleaning up the "worst" damage zoo officials have seen in years.

Four animal exhibits, including the giraffe encounter, were closed as of 11:45 a.m. Sunday. The giraffes were out, but the "encounter," where visitors can view feedings twice a day, was shut down. The train was down all morning but was up and running by about noon. 

The limited access didn't stop Tamara Kessler of Warren and her daughter and niece from enjoying their visit.

"You don't just turn away a 5-year-old from the Detroit Zoo who has been looking forward to it all week," Kessler said as she made her way into the zoo with her 5-year-old daughter, Vivianne, and 10-year-old niece Deanna Greer of Almont about 11 a.m.

The most extensive damage consisted of trees down, including in the main picnic areas, and power was out to several exhibits, said Dajuan Jones, a grounds supervisor. The damage, Jones said, is "the worst we've had in years."

But he added that the animals are all safe, and full generator power is running at the animal hospital.

Zoo-goers are being told as they reach the admissions area that there is "limited access," that some exhibits are not open and that the train is not running. The exhibits closed as of 11:30 a.m. were the otters, anteaters, water dogs and giraffes. The water dogs were in their cages because the electronic fence was not operational.

The simulators were not operating earlier but were up by noon.

The Arctic Cafe, however, was opened shortly before noon, and zoo officials were hoping to have all exhibits up and running and all areas reopened by the end of Sunday.

Workers on scene to restore power had been working since 6 a.m., Jones said.


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