SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The decision to lift the stay-at-home order is lifting the spirits of zoo lovers.

The reopening, combined with warmer temperatures, has zoo leaders looking on the bright side after a dark year economically in 2020.

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Even the animals were excited about the first day back open at the Sacramento Zoo. After being closed down for five weeks, doors opened to the public.

The Michael family was one of the first in line.

“This is the first time that the baby has been to the zoo; she turned 2 in December and we’re really excited to be here,” said Dawn Michael.

With a year of pandemic pressures, working from home, distance learning for two kids, and now social unrest, a trip to the zoo is a welcomed escape.

“It’s nice to be able to get out and do something like this,” said Joedy Michaels.

“We just love the zoo…it’s wonderful,” said Dawn Winters.

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Winters brought her grandson to see the animals. They stopped and admired the newest addition: a baby giraffe born in September.

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“It’s good for kids…really good for kids,” said Winters.

“We are so happy to be reopened again!” said zoo director Jason Jacobs.

The zoo is hoping to rebound after a dismal 2020. After closing in March, the zoo told us they were losing $1 million a month in revenue. More than half the staff were laid off or furloughed and the rest had their hours cut.

“We have a lot of programs like Ice cream Safari, Boo at the Zoo, Wine and Brew,” said zoo director Jason Jacobs. “We had a lot of education programs;  I don’t know when those are going to be coming back.”

That’s not an issue for the families who’ve found joy in the little things, which is putting the big things all in perspective.

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“This week is supposed to be perfect,” said Joedy. “It can’t get any better.”