The Giza Zoo next to the Nile River has been closed for six months due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Egypt’s Giza Zoo, the oldest in Africa and the Middle East, is scheduled to re-open today (Monday August 24), following a six-month closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The zoo management will enforce all health and safety precautions, such as mandatory face masks, the official zoo’s Facebook page said.

The zoo, built on about 80 acres of land, not far from the Nile River, first opened in 1891 as a botanical garden and the animals were added later.

The Ministry of Agriculture, which manages the zoo, has been facing increasing criticism of mismanagement leading to the ruin of some of the grounds’ historic features and mistreatment of hundreds of animals, including some rare species.

In an attempt to revive the zoo’s features, the government resorted to raising the price of its entry tickets several times. As a must-visit site, and an escape for many people in the packed city of about 24 million people, the zoo gets about three million visitors annually.

In March, the government agreed with France to restore a 150-year-old mini-suspension bridge inside the zoo which was designed by Gustave Eiffel, the man behind Eiffel Tower.

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