MKThink is supporting the San Francisco Zoo in creating a safe environment for the zoo to open. View our proposal below.

Health experts have emphasized that outdoor recreation is an essential activity during the COVID-19 pandemic when it is particularly important to ensure physical, mental, and emotional health. It is additionally important to support educational programs for all ages, especially children, as the ultimate goal of education remains the same. As outdoor exhibits, parks, gardens, and educational institutions, zoos hope to use their campuses and to share similar healthy benefits as other essential places when reopening to the community.


This proposal presents our City’s own San Francisco Zoo and Gardens’ plan to respond to this pandemic and our objectives for reopening. It includes a pilot phase before formal reopening that would inform new normal operations.The preparations represented in this proposal thoughtful considerations from accredited zoos throughout the country, the San Francisco Zoo and Gardens’ leadership and staff, City and County officials, public health experts, as well as nationally recognized, locally based campus planning and environmental monitoring specialists.

The San Francisco Zoo and Gardens (SF Zoo) has unique features in place that lend itself to protocols and programs that could proceed within public health guidelines during this pandemic. The campus exhibits specific beneficial physical attributes contributing to creating a healthy and safe environment for the community. Our response will tap into the expanse of our campus for physical distancing while fostering social connectivity.

As we prepare our City’s zoo to reopen, we stay in lock step with our statement and our public health officials’ mandate to limit the number of potential exposures and flatten the curve. This, along with facilitation and operation staff review and guidelines, results to the following San Francisco Zoo specific operation plan. We believe with the following procedures and monitoring capabilities established we can reopen in a healthy manner and respond responsibly to our new normal.

Performance criteria that follows both the state of California’s and the City and County of San Francisco’s Public Health Indicators

Operations that optimizes the unique healthy qualities of our large and accessible

outdoor environments

Operations that close any specific components that present any concerns such as

public access to any indoor facilities, play structures and our carousels

Vigorous monitoring, response and coordination to prepare and respond to

contingencies as they emerge

Protocols and procedures to keep the safety of our staff and the animals under our care


Engage in essential operations to ensure business continuity