- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Visitors of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo can begin reserving timed entry passes this week ahead of the zoo’s reopening on May 21. 

Zoo entry passes will be available online at 12:25 p.m. Friday.

New zoo exhibits include giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji, Amur tiger Mitas, Przewalski’s horse mother-son duo Barbie and Cooper, Komodo dragon juvenile Onyx, Andean bear Brienne, American bison Lucy and Gally, California sea lion Charger and North American beaver Poplar, a wallaby joey and a kudu calf, according to a zoo press statement.

The zoo will limit the number of visitors and implement other safety precautions including free timed-entry passes, face covering requirements for all visitors ages 2 and up, hand sanitizing stations and social distancing markers. Some zoo areas will stay closed for safety reasons.

Visitors must reserve either a free timed-entry pass for each person if coming on foot or a paid parking pass if driving and parking at the zoo, which serves as admission for all people arriving in a single car.

Those who wish to visit giant pandas Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and cub Xiao Qi Ji must obtain a free timed Asia Trail/Panda pass for each person in their party. The giant panda exhibit will be limited to 620 guests per day, and visitors are asked to limit their viewing to 15 minutes.

An Asia Trail/panda pass can be booked onsite at eight giant panda statue kiosks located throughout the zoo. The first panda passes become available when the zoo opens at 8 a.m., and new ones are released every hour starting at 8:30 a.m. The last time slot to view the pandas is 3:30 p.m. Visitors also can reserve a panda pass at the Visitor Center.

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