The Lake Superior Zoo has been forced to lay off twelve full-time employees including its CEO due to the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent quarantine. With being closed for the last two weeks and no prospect of when they can open again much of the staff has been laid off and others have been reduced to part time. The only people left full-time are the interim CEO, a maintenance person, and ten animal care workers.

Lead zookeeper Emily Perala told Fox 21 "It’s really quiet around here which is really strange. We miss the public very much, we’re really excited to have people come back when we reopen. The animals miss the people too. It’s obvious.”

The animals are being cared for as always but with the zoo being closed expenses can add up very quickly. The lions and tigers go through between $200-$400 a month in meat alone. Despite the closure the construction on the new bear exhibit will continue.

Erik Simonson who served as CEO at Lake Superior Zoo for the last two-and-a-half years told Fox 21 “It’s an unfortunate time, but it is for everyone. We’re all in the same boat together here, but the momentum is behind them, they’re making progress, construction continues there.”

The staff left at the zoo are doing there best to make sure everything runs as normal and has been putting up video's on their Facebook page to allow families to see the animals since they cannot do it in person.


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