Dallas Zoo Furloughs 100, Will Close Aquarium at Fair Park

Despite reopening and taking precautions, a downturn in visitors has resulted in the Dallas Zoo putting 100 employees on furlough, the organization said last week.

“The ongoing pandemic has hit us hard, and we’ll likely be dealing with the financial impacts for a while. Unfortunately, this extended downturn in our attendance and financial forecast has forced us to make some major changes in order to right-size our organization and get us through this,” the Zoo said in a Facebook post. “We are putting in place plans to permanently close the Adventure Safari Monorail as well as the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park, and we were forced to make some significant staffing changes.”

The Zoo reopened at the end of May, but several exhibits remained closed due to concerns about social distancing.

The zoo will remain open, and caretakers and zookeepers will continue to work to care for the animals.

“The good news — we are still open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and are here to welcome you to the Zoo. These changes will not affect our ability to provide the highest level of care to our 2,000+ animals or to create an amazing experience for our guests every day,” the post said. “We really have felt the love and support of our community throughout this difficult time, and we are so grateful to each and every one of you for continuing to support us!”

To contribute to the Zoo’s emergency operations fund, click here. To purchase a Zoo membership, click here.

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at [email protected].

2 thoughts on “Dallas Zoo Furloughs 100, Will Close Aquarium at Fair Park

  • August 19, 2020 at 11:04 am

    In times like this, there is no reason for the Zoo- defund it. We need law enforcement and security, not Zoos!!

  • September 15, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    The Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park is a big part of Dallas history. Built in 1936, it is the oldest aquarium still in the original building. The aquarium is very family oriented. Many school groups come through as a field trip. Seeing a shark in real life is not the same as seeing on online or on TV. Petting a stingray will be a memory for life. No one can visit the aquarium without learning something about marine life. Doesn’t matter if your a adult or child. I retired from the aquarium last year after working there for 17 years and I’m very proud for working there.


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