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Utah's Hogle Zoo eliminates positions, lays off employees due to COVID-19

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{ }Utah's Hogle Zoo eliminates positions, lays off employees due to COVID-19 (FILE Photo: KUTV)

Utah's Hogle Zoo announced Saturday that it is laying off 20 full-time positions, has furloughed four full-time employees, and will not full 13 open positions.

Zoo President and CEO Steve Burns said in a prepared statement:

The Zoo was closed to the public for almost 50 days. Even though we had no revenue from guests, we still incurred all of the expenses associated with taking care of the animals and maintaining the facility.
The Zoo is now open, but with social distancing requirements, we are only getting about 50% of our normal visitation. We are seasonal and most of our busy season is being wiped out. Unfortunately, these factors have forced us to make the difficult decision to lay off and furlough employees in order for us to make it through the rest of the year and next winter.

The zoo stated in a news release that is was forced to make the workforce changes due to financial hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The changes, "will ensure that the animals and guests are well cared for and the facility safely maintained," the news release stated.