Taipei Zoo aims to encourage weekday visits to see pandas

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Sat, Mar 14, 2009 - Page 4

Taipei Zoo will reduce the maximum number of visitors allowed in the Panda Hall from Monday to Friday from 400 every 10 minutes to 300, giving more space for each visitor and encouraging the public to visit the pandas on weekdays, it announced yesterday.

Taipei Zoo Recreation Team director Tsao Chian-shao (曹先紹) said the new measure aimed to reduce the size of crowds visiting the pandas during weekends and increase the quality of visits to the Panda Hall.

The zoo is also seeking to make visiting the hall more convenient by allowing visitors to reenter the hall without obtaining a new number outside the entrance to the zoo, Tsao said.

The Panda Hall has attracted more than 500,000 visitors since the two giant pandas, Tuan Tuan (團團) and Yuan Yuan (圓圓), went on public display in January, the zoo said.

Seeking to control the crowds, the zoo had limited the maximum daily number of visitors to 19,200. Visitors to the hall are required to take a number from one of the eight counters outside the entrance to the zoo and each visitor is allowed to spend only 10 minutes in the hall.

Visitors have been required to return to the entrance and take another number if they wish to enter the hall again.

Tsao said the zoo would allow visitors who did not take numbers to visit the pandas in the future. Visitors will be able to choose to line up at a waiting area and staff will arrange for them to enter the hall whenever there is a vacancy. The zoo would continue to improve its operations, he said.

Meanwhile, for maintenance reasons, the Panda Hall will be closed on the first Monday of every month starting next month, the zoo said.