How the Detroit Zoo is overcoming the challenges of the pandemic

Posted at 6:32 PM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 19:29:45-04

(WXYZ) — In tonight's 7 UpFront we're finding out how the Detroit Zoo is working to overcome the challenges brought forth by the pandemic.

We're being joined by the CEO of the Detroit Zoological Society Ron Kagan to talk about it.

You can see the full interview in the video player above.

"Well, of course, our challenge is quite unique. When we had to close down we couldn't really close down because we have thousands of living animals here, so we couldn't let the public in for a little while and that, obviously, was very challenging for us financially, because so much of our revenue comes from ticket sales," Kagan says. "But, in any event, we managed to weather it. We, as I said, lost a lot of money, but we enhanced all of our protocols, all of our safety protocols, we added over a hundred handwashing stations, we required masks, we required advanced reservations so that we could always control the number of people in the park once we reopened back in last June. And I think the most difficult part has been we had to reduce our staff by quite a bit, which people who work for something like a zoo are incredibly mission-driven, everybody's very passionate, very talented, and so that was really tough and we still haven't been able to bring everyone back and I'm sure we won't be able to because of finances. But the other thing is we have to protect the animals."