Egypt's Giza zoo reopens after 5 months of closure

(24 Aug 2020) LEAD IN:
Egypt's Giza Zoo reopens to the public for the first time after a months-long closure.

Egyptians visited the Giza Zoo for the first time on Monday after five months of closure due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The zoo was closed in March as a precautionary measure by the government to contain the spread of the virus.
It reopened under new rules requiring all visitors to wear a mask and get their temperature checked at the gate.
The number of visitors will be limited to 3,500, said Mohamed Ragaee, the head of the Public Zoos Central Administration.
Even though the zoo generated no income during the closure, the 5-month period was still beneficial, said Ragaee.
Without visitors, the closure offered some birds the calm they needed to incubate their eggs.
"It was a favourable period to increase the numbers of animals and birds," Ragaee said.
"We will use this increase to get new animals through exchanges with other international zoos," said Ragaee.
Built in 1891, the Giza Zoo is based on the design of the London Zoo.
The zoo was built by Khedive Ismail and is spread out over some 80 acres of green spaces.
It is home to many rare animal and plant species and features 175 different species of mammals, birds and reptiles.
In total, it hosts around 5,200 animals and birds.
The Giza Zoo located on the western side of the Nile River and is a popular destination for Egyptian families.
The reopening of the zoo comes as Egypt witnesses a steady drop in the daily reported numbers of coronavirus cases.
On Saturday, the health ministry reported 89 confirmed cases and 12 deaths, the lowest daily record in months.
Overall, the country of more than 100 million people has reported more than 97,349 confirmed cases, including 5,262 deaths.
But the actual numbers of cases, like elsewhere in the world, are thought to be far higher, in part due to limited testing.

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