Zoos & Aquariums Hit Harder By COVID-19
Like other sectors of the economy, zoos and aquariums are facing significant hardships due to the COVID-19 crisis. Most have temporarily closed and many have had to reduce operations and make difficult staffing decisions.
The Washington Post, on June 8, 2020, reported that: "More than 200 major U.S. zoos and aquariums that - like most attractions that rely on ticket sales - have suffered huge losses amid shutdowns to combat the spread of the coronavirus. But these zoos say they have been hit harder than many other shuttered institutions because their occupants - more than a million animals nationwide still need food, water, heating, cooling and veterinary care."
Zoos and aquariums must continue their missions whether they're able to open to the public or not. The best of these institutions are dedicated to conservation, research, and education, with their facilities acting as public portals to the work they conduct for wild environments and populations.
AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) is an independent organization assuring that accredited institutions meet the highest standards for animal care and welfare and are tasked with taking the lead in the protection of threatened and endangered species. Through AZA SAFE: Saving Animals from Extinction, the entire AZA community is focusing their conservation science, wildlife expertise, and outreach on saving species in the wild. The AZA Species Survival Plan® (SSP) focuses on animal management, breeding, and conservation efforts that work to ensure genetically diverse, self-sustaining populations of more than 500 species of animals.