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Santa Barbara- S County

Santa Barbara Zoo seeks donations after loss of funds during COVID-19 closure

Santa Barbara Zoo
Staff members at the Santa Barbara Zoo must now wear personal protective equipment while interacting with animals.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara Zoo provides constant care for over 500 animals while also educating residents and visitors alike about the importance of taking care of our environment.

As the COVID-19 pandemic worsened in our area, the zoo made the decision to close its doors mid-March.

It also now requires staff to wear personal protective equipment when caring for the animals after a tiger tested positive for COVID-19 in a New York zoo.

Amidst all this, the zoo remains a nonprofit organization.

However, the zoo announced this week that the closure has led to the loss of 97% of its operating budget which is made up of earned revenue from normal zoo functions.

"Closing our doors creates challenges greater than any we have experienced in our 57-year history, and the loss of revenue will not be recovered. As a nonprofit organization, the Zoo is currently relying on cash reserves to continue to operate," the zoo's COVID-19 recovery page explains. "Despite these challenging times, the Santa Barbara Zoo remains dedicated to the more than 500 animals who reside here, the safety of the employees caring for those animals, and continued efforts in the field to save local endangered and threatened wildlife."

While zoo staff continues to care for animals and engage the public on their social media, they are asking for the public's support during this difficult time through donations.

If you are interested in donating or learning more about the Santa Barbara Zoo, you can visit their website here.

Coronavirus / Health

Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor at KEYT | KCOY | KKFX.

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