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Coronavirus Closures: Big Deficit Prompts Sacramento Zoo To Lay Off Dozens Of Employees

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The ongoing coronavirus crisis that has brought the country to a halt is affecting businesses and non-profits big and small - including the Sacramento Zoo.

On Tuesday, the Sacramento Zoo - which has been closed to visitors since March 13 - confirmed that they would be laying off, furloughing and reducing the hours of dozens of their employees.

In total, the zoo says 52 people are being laid off. Another 17 are being furloughed. Finally, an additional 28 employees are having their hours reduced.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, there were about 120 employees at the zoo.

The zoo says they're losing about $1 million in revenue a month due to being closed. With it costing $200,000 a month to care for the animals, the bottom line is that the zoo is opening at an about $700,000 deficit during the COVID-19 crisis.

Along with the zoo employees, officials say the food and beverage company that services the place is also laying off 53 people.

Animal care and veterinary staff are still working, zoo officials say.

Nearly 500 animals from around 120 different species call the Sacramento Zoo home.

Anyone who wishes to support the zoo is urged to donate to an emergency fund set up online at

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