The animals at Clyde Peeling's Reptiland are used to seeing a lot of people every day, but since the zoo near Allenwood has been closed for the past three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the only people they've seen are employees.
"We can't just simply put a lock on the door, turn the lights out and leave. We have about 800 total animals - reptiles, amphibians, some birds - and they have to be fed, they have to be cleaned," Clyde Peeling said.
Clyde Peeling's Reptiland will reopen to the public this Friday with new safety precautions in place. All customers will be required to wear a mask.
Peeling says reptiles do not carry coronavirus, but he wants to keep everyone safe. Employees installed sneeze guards at the admissions desk. Live shows will be given at 50 percent capacity to allow for proper social distancing. High-touch areas will be cleaned frequently, and hand sanitizer will be available throughout the zoo.
"We want people to disinfect their hands before they have the opportunity to touch an animal and after they've touched it. That way, they're not getting something off the animal that somebody left from their hand."
Starting Friday, Clyde Peeling's Reptiland will be open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.