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BioPark reopens Penguin Chill exhibit, others

King and Gentoo penguins explore the Penguin Chill habitat at the ABQ BioPark Zoo in July 2019. This and other indoor ABQ BioPark exhibits are reopening to visitors on Thursday. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Aquarium, the Penguin Chill habitat at the Zoo, the BUGarium at the Botanic Garden and other ABQ BioPark indoor exhibits will reopen with reduced capacity Thursday, and with COVID-safe practices in place, city officials announced.

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“If your family is anything like mine, you’ve been anxious to get back to the BioPark to see the penguins or the Aquarium to see the sharks, rays, and everyone’s favorite otters, Chaos and Mayhem,” Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement. “We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work through reopening more city facilities and popular destinations in the safest way possible.”

The Aquarium plans to use a timed-ticketing system, and tickets must be purchased online in advance and will be limited to maintain proper guest distancing, according to a news release.

Visitors can purchase an Aquarium and Botanic Garden ticket or a separate Botanic Garden-only ticket, officials said.

The limited capacity at the Penguin Chill, reptile building and BUGarium means not every ticket buyer is guaranteed access to the indoor habitats, and wait times are likely.

Hours for all BioPark facilities are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Regular ticket prices apply for the Zoo and Aquarium/Botanic Garden tickets. The Botanic Garden-only ticket has a discount of $2 off regular admission for in-state guests.

Face masks or other face coverings are currently required. And there are select one-way paths as needed at the Botanic Garden, Zoo and Aquarium.

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