SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 31, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah’s Hogle Zoo has laid off 20 full-time employees and furloughed four others as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
“Utah’s Hogle Zoo regrets to announce that, due to extreme financial hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was forced to lay off 20 full-time positions,” said a news release. In addition, the zoo furloughed four full-time employees and will not fill 13 open positions.
“The zoo was closed to the public for almost 50 days,” said President and CEO Steve Burns. “Even though we had no revenue from guests, we still incurred all of the expenses associated with taking care of the animals and maintaining the facility.
“The zoo is now open, but with social distancing requirements, we are only getting about 50% of our normal visitation. We are seasonal and most of our busy season is being wiped out. Unfortunately, these factors have forced us to make the difficult decision to lay off and furlough employees in order for us to make it through the rest of the year and next winter.”
The zoo is making these changes to ensure that the animals and guests are well cared for and the facility safely maintained, the news release said.