San Antonio Zoo losing $500,000 a week due to closure during COVID-19 pandemic

Zoo says it is 100% dependent on sales, donations, grants

Photo: Brian Carter/San Antonio Zoo
Photo: Brian Carter/San Antonio Zoo

SAN ANTONIO – It hasn’t even been a month since the coronavirus pandemic has kept animal enthusiasts (and their money) away from the San Antonio Zoo, but the nonprofit is already reeling from the sudden financial blow.

The zoo closed its doors to the public in late March, ushering in a predicament it has never seen before: the complete loss of ticket sales and guest spending for a prolonged period of time.

Jennifer Pue, director of public relations and integrated marketing, told that the zoo is dependent on revenue from visitors, donations and grants.

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With the zoo closed, she said, it is losing about $500,000 in revenue per week.

Pue said the zoo generates about $2 million a month when it is open, and it needs about the same amount of money to operate.

“It takes an average of about $75,000 a day to operate the zoo,” she said. “Without operating income from visitors buying tickets and spending money at the zoo, we have now become 100% dependent on donations/grants, and any governmental assistance we are able to acquire to ensure we are still here for San Antonio when this pandemic is over."

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