Columbus Zoo restricts bags, citing safety

Starting Sept. 6, visitors to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium might want to check out the venue’s new bag and cooler policy before loading up the car. 

The zoo announced last week that for safety reasons, it would restrict the size and type of bags and coolers permitted, as well as where they can be stored. The policy also applies to Zoombezi Bay, which closed for the season Sept. 4.

Bags can be no larger than 22-by-10-by-12 inches. Coolers must be 14-by-14 inches or smaller; both hard- and soft-sided coolers are allowed. Guests can keep items with them or store them in a designated area. At the zoo, storage is located near Lakeside Grill and in a new picnic shelter outside the entrance. Zoombezi Bay has a cooler cove and a picnic shelter.

“After consulting with many other large public attractions, we have determined that this bag policy is just one more way we can further our commitment to ensuring that our guests enjoy a safe experience,” John Gannon, senior vice president of guest services and business strategies, said in the announcement.

Outside food and drink still are permitted at the zoo, but alcohol, glass and straws are not.

To read the new policy, go to columbuszoo.org/home/visit/plan-your-visit/zoo-policies.