On a normal day at the Montebello Barnyard Zoo, the Salas children would be petting Burro the donkey and Lula the cow.
Instead, they settled for photos with the animals.
After months of pandemic-mandated shutdown, the zoo opened again in early February.
The Salases waited in socially distanced lines with other masked children, then hopped aboard ponies, both real ones and the perpetually frozen ones on a 1940s carousel. But burrowing into the animals’ fur and getting up close and personal was off-limits.
Patricia Salas, inhaling the barnyard scents through her mask, remembers visiting the zoo herself decades ago, as children in this predominantly Latino part of the San Gabriel Valley have for generations.
“When you have a big family and you don’t have a lot of money, this zoo is close and affordable,” said Salas, 52, of Covina, who came on a recent Saturday with nine family members — grandchildren, sons, daughters, nieces and nephews.
Admission is $6, with some attractions costing an extra fee, […]