SAINT JOHN -- The Cherry Brook Zoo, in Saint John, N.B., opened its doors this week to give patrons the chance to bid a final farewell to the animals before they head to their new homes.

The zoo announced in April that it would be permanently closing, after 46 years in operation, and securing new homes for the animals.

“I find that it's sad, you know, that they’re going to go other places,” says zoo visitor Tanya McAuley.

“I wish we could have kept it here and kept all the animals and just have more people come on out and support. I guess that's what they needed and they didn't have a whole lot of it.”

Visitors like Grayson Moore are happy to have the chance to see the animals one last time before they are relocated.

“I've been going to zoo camp and I just wanted to say my goodbyes,” says Moore.

The temporary reopening has brought a surge of visitors and mixed emotions for staff.

“We've met a lot of really wonderful people, a lot of fans. We're just sad that we have this amount of people and it's all because that we're closing instead of the fact that, we've never had groups like this unless we had events,” says Megan Gorey, the Cherry Brook Zoo’s medical zookeeper.

Zookeeper Erin Brown says staff is still working towards finding new homes for the big cats.

“There's a lot more regulation to go with them, because they are dangerous predators,” says Brown.

The Cherry Brook Zoo will be open until Sunday. Admission is by donation.