Florida's Gatorland Theme Park Reopens With Wild New Social Distancing Mascot

Meet the Social Distancing Skunk Ape.

Florida’s Gatorland theme park reopened over Memorial Day weekend ― with a new mascot that encourages social distancing and pays homage to a local legend at the same time.

Meet the Social Distancing Skunk Ape.

A costumed version of this regional take on Sasquatch is reminding people of the benefits of being distant and elusive ― and sharing some basic health and safety tips to prevent the spread of the coronavirus:

The Social Distancing Skunk Ape will be available for meet and greets ― but only from a suitable distance, according to a news release.

The company said it has created a 31-page manual for operating in the coronavirus era, which includes temperature checks and masks for staff, and encourages masks for visitors.

Coronavirus-related shutdowns have hit the theme park industry especially hard. Central Florida depends on the resorts for much of its tourist industry. Disney World remains closed, although parts of its Disney Springs shopping district reopened last week.

Universal Orlando will begin reopening its theme parks next week, while Legoland Florida reopens June 1, and SeaWorld is reportedly aiming for mid-June.