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You no longer need a reservation to visit the Saint Louis Zoo

As of May 23, visitors can walk into the zoo without a reservation.

ST. LOUIS — As of Monday, the Saint Louis Zoo no longer requires visitors to make a reservation to get inside.

The zoo announced last week that effective May 23, it would no longer limit attendance numbers or require reservations. It's a course reversal from a month ago, when the zoo said the reservation system would remain in place.

"We appreciate the community and our guests for allowing us to test it out," a spokesperson for the Zoo said in a Monday statement to 5 On Your Side. "We have decided to change course at this time to be accessible and accommodating for all guests and we don’t want to turn anyone away from enjoying the Zoo whenever they want to visit."

Entry to the zoo is still free.

The reservations were originally put in place to control crowd size during the pandemic. Before the reservation system went into effect, the zoo would welcome around 25,000 visitors on a very busy day.

Zoo director Michael Macek told 5 On Your Side back in April that the zoo was at about 14,000 for it's max days while under the reservation system.

The change comes shortly after the zoo announced its extended summer hours, which began on Friday and last through Aug. 14. The zoo will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

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