Apr 06, 2020 4:35 PM

Omaha zoo facing nearly $7M loss in wake of virus outbreak

Posted Apr 06, 2020 4:35 PM

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Officials with Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium say the attraction is facing a nearly $7 million loss as its doors close to the public in the wake of a global pandemic.

The zoo's closure on March 16 through the end of April is projected to amount to a $6.7 million loss for the zoo, the Omaha World-Herald reported Monday. An estimated 79,300 visitors were expected between March 16 and March 31, and another 155,800 visitors were expected in April. The zoo had expected a bump in visitors as it made plans to celebrate its 125th anniversary.

The zoo's Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park in Ashland - a drive-thru attraction that plans to remain open - appears to have seen a hike in attendance from the Omaha zoo's closure. The Wildlife Safari Park opened for the 2020 season on March 27, with a record-setting attendance of 7,663 visitors. The previous record was 2,735 on Sept. 1, 2019.

Park pricing ranges from $4 for children to $6 for adults. Children 2 and under are admitted at no charge. Those with season tickets to the zoo will have those tickets honored at the wildlife park.

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Apr 06, 2020 4:35 PM
UPDATED Compare your community's social distancing activity
Unacast (Last Updated April 12, 2020)" />
Unacast (Last Updated April 12, 2020)

Social distancing is currently the most effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization and the CDC.

Unacast created an interactive Scoreboard, updated daily, to empower organizations to measure and understand the efficacy of social distancing initiatives at the local level, according to their website.

The most recent report gave Nebraska a D, Missouri an F and dropped Kansas to a grade of D.   Click here to see the grade for your county.