Meet the new babies at the Utica Zoo as they begin welcoming more visitors today.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced zoos can move to 50 percent capacity starting April 26. That means more people can get an up close look at the new baby Urials recently born at the Utica Zoo.

"Mom Pyari gave birth recently to two cute babies who are on exhibit," the Utica Zoo shared on Facebook. "Both babies are doing well and mom is taking great care of them. Stop by often to watch them grow."

Credit - Utica Zoo Keeper Caleb via Facebook

The Utica Zoo is open daily from 10 AM to 4:30 PM. Don't forget your face mask. "Masks are still required, for visitors, staff, and animal safety. There have been confirmed cases of COVID in animals in other zoos so we will continue to take these precautions."

Utica Zoo Animal Encounters

The uncertainty surrounding the pandemic had Zoo officials slowly announcing new dates for animal encounters. But now with the outlook becoming cleare,r new dates for both in person and virtual animal encounters are being announced. Here are the options available.

Call With the Wild is a virtual encounter with two animals of your choosing. The encounter can be done as a group of family and friends or as part of a work conference call. The experience usually lasts about ten to fifteen minutes with a staff member introducing the animals and encouraging them to move around using treats.

In Person Encounters involve meeting the animal in an intimate setting inside their exhibit and feeding them. Encounters vary by the animal, for instance the Red Panda encounter is just for two people, but Sea Lion encounters can include up to five people, and Camel encounters can accommodate four guests. There are also encounters with the Dwarf Goats and the Ambassador Animals that include your choice of reptiles, birds, mammals, amphibians, and insects.

Mike Beck/Utica Zoo

Most of the in person encounters last for about thirty minutes, but are dependent on the animal's mood. You can get the specifics on each encounter, open dates and even book an encounter on the Utica Zoo's website.

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