Hungry friends at the zoo

Tina RolenFeature, Inside 640

Zoo Knoxville is losing an average of $22,500 a day while it remains closed in response to the COVID-19 virus. Some 86 percent of the zoo’s operating funds come from paying guests and members.


The zoo closed voluntarily effective Monday, March 16. This was also the first day of our peak season. Without guests, we have lost our largest and most important source of income. We did not take this decision lightly, but the safety of our community must take precedence. The safety and well-being of our animals and our community will never be compromised.

Open or closed Zoo Knoxville saves animals from extinction every day. Our dedicated animal care staff will remain all hands on deck during this crisis to ensure the animals in our care are not negatively impacted.

We are sensitive to the fact that our community’s needs are many at this time. We are so grateful to those that have asked how they can help. If you are able, please consider a donation to our Emergency Animal Relief Fund to assist us in maintaining the highest quality animal care. Your support is critical – now more than ever. Zoo Knoxville is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Tina Rolen is director of marketing and communications at Zoo Knoxville.

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