Unprecedented demand crashes zoo website as lockdown rules mean they can re-open

In England, non-essential businesses will be able to reopen again from 15 June.

People have different priorities – some people are desperately angling to go to central London and walk around an empty Oxford Circus, while other people seemingly can’t wait to go to the zoo.

The Whipsnade Zoo, in Bedfordshire, said that its website temporarily went offline last week, as people rushed to book tickets to come and visit the zoo in the coming weeks.

They ended up turning off the ticket function after a couple of hours so that they could get the website back online. A few hours before, they had asked for patience as the website hasn’t seen this many people in a long time.

Whipsnade Zoo is the largest zoo in the UK.

In the replies on Twitter, people were asking the zoo when they would be able to buy tickets – even people who are members of the zoo said that they had spent hours trying to get tickets for themselves and their families and were unable to do so.

Owen Craft, Whipsnade Zoo's chief operating officer told the BBC that there was actually a lot of space at the zoo in Bedfordshire, and that they had put in social distancing protocols.

"We have 2m (6ft 6in) social distancing paw prints placed out for queueing and additional signing to remind people of the rules," he said.

"There will also be additional hand sanitising stations and increased cleaning regimes."

Other zoos around the UK have faced a similar situation. The London Zoo tweeted the same message about people being patient with them.

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