Dallas Zoo

Dallas Zoo to Furlough Staff, Close Fair Park Aquarium Amid Money Strain

The furloughs affect over 100 employees

082314 Dallas Zoo

The Dallas Zoo announced Friday the COVID-19 pandemic, among other factors, has forced it to reduce its workforce through partial and full furloughs.

The nonprofit said through a press release that this decision impacts about 25% of it's more than 400 employees.

The zoo says it is making these moves to stabilize its financial situation and to right-size the organization to align with current and projected attendance.

The furloughs are effective beginning this weekend for just over 100 full and part-time employees, as well as variable-hour staff. Those impacted will be eligible for unemployment benefits and, if covered by the zoo's health insurance plan, also will retain those benefits for a period of time, the release explained.

At least 75 open positions at the zoo are frozen, and long-term employees are being offered early-retirement incentives, The Dallas Morning News reported.

The zoo is also planning to “wind down operations and permanently close” its Adventure Safari Monorail and the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park, which it operates, the zoo told The News. The monorail reopened in 2016 with $3 million in renovations after persistent electrical problems closed it for a year and a half.

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