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Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium announces cuts, furloughs

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Posted at 4:32 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 17:44:06-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is eliminating positions and furloughing some workers.

The furloughs are in addition to salary reductions, a hiring freeze and non-animal related expense reductions.

The Zoo has been closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus crisis. The closure has resulted in a projected $26.1 million revenue loss by year's end.

The zoo says as a non-profit, 91 percent of their operating income is based on admission, membership and other sales like concessions and gift shops.

With more than than 500 employees, the zoo didn't qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program included in the CARES Act.

“Decisions affecting our staff are very difficult and not made lightly knowing their level of commitment to the zoo. While this has been difficult, we take some solace knowing that our actions to date have reduced the spread of the disease and helped assure the continued financial health of the zoo," said Dennis Pate, President and CEO of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo.

The zoo didn't specify how many positions would be furloughed or eliminated.

Due to the revenue loss, the zoo has established an emergency fund. Those who would like to donate can visit omahazoo.com. The fund will support zoo operations,