Claws ‘n’ Paws reopens after Wayne County moves to yellow

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SALEM TOWNSHIP, WAYNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Now that Wayne County is one of many in the yellow phase, Claws ‘n’ Paws was finally able to re-open.

Saturday was the 47th opening at Claws ‘n’ Paws Wild Animal Park. Even rain couldn’t keep the visitors away from the animals.

“This is actually the first time we’re taking our kids. It’s our daughter’s birthday and we always do something fun with them for their birthday. It’s rainy but it’s her birthday and it’s open,” said Holly Shane of Dalton.

The wild animal park had to delay their opening for weeks due to COVID-19 but that didn’t make Opening Day any less exciting.

“It’s going to be the big weekend as it is every year. We’re pretty excited. It’s going to be pretty much the same,” said zookeeper Debbie Maines.

But there will be some things people will have to do differently to keep up with CDC guidelines.

“When you come through the gift shop, masks are required. However, once you’re in the park, it is your discretion but highly recommended,” said Maines.

Some exhibits will be closed, feedings will not be allowed, and food stands will remain closed for the time being. Families are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch. Even with some changes and a little rain, the kids are happy to be out of the house.

As for zoo keepers? They’re happy to have the guests back too.

“We’re all in the woods here so you’re surrounded by nature. And it’s a good place to get out and walk. It’s just a nice experience for a family to get out and enjoy,” said Maines.

Claws ‘n’ paws is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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