Long Beach, California 2021-01-30 16:48:24 –
People were happy to be there, and the animals seemed happy they were back
The Aquarium of the Pacific resumed outdoor operations on Saturday, January 30, taking advantage of the restrictions relaxed by the city’s announcement on Monday to coincide with Governor Gavin Newsom’s lifting of the state’s stay-at-home order.
Visitors were lined up when the aquarium opened at the beginning of Saturday. I wanted to explore many outdoor exhibits such as shark lagoons, June Keys penguins habitats, lolliquito forests, seal and sea lion habitats, and moon jellyfish touch labs.
Those over 2 years old need a mask and have a temperature check before admission.
“I am very pleased to be back here to support the aquarium,” said visitor Michael De Luca. “Touch tank sharks even seemed eager to keep pets.”
Deluca, along with his wife Vickie, came to the aquarium at least once a month and was closed. As a way to provide additional support, Deluca says he has upgraded his membership to keep him in and out of the facility frequently.
“The animals missed us as much as we missed them,” he added.
The aquarium, which had already adjusted its facilities to outdoor operations from summer to autumn, is ready, according to Chief Financial Officer Anthony Browne.
“Our staff were ready and trained to reopen because we were already working outside for months,” Brown said. “So far, it’s 100% compliant with visitors.”
With the reopening, the aquarium was also able to bring back more than 70 temporarily dismissed employees. However, according to Brown, returning to indoor operation is the facility’s main goal.
“We can’t provide guests with everything they have to offer outdoors,” he said.
Currently, aquariums limit the number of visitors to 25 percent of their normal capacity. Advance timed reservations are required to help staff manage traffic flow and ensure social distance.
Although it is uncertain when normal operations can resume, staff and guests likewise shared their enthusiasm for returning within aquatic life.
“It’s great to go out and have some fun with your family,” said visitor Stephanie Coleman. “And the animals don’t seem to care about our company either.”