Zoo Knoxville is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. 86% of our operating funds come from paying guests and members. The zoo closed voluntarily effective Monday, March 16 to do our part to arrest the spread of COVID-19. This was also the first day of our peak season. Without guests, we have lost our largest and most important source of income. We did not take this decision lightly but the safety of our community must take precedence. The safety and well-being of our animals and our community will never be compromised. Thanks to the support of the City of Knoxville, Knox County, and donors like you, we were able to reopen mid-May with COVID-19 safety protocols in place.

Open or closed Zoo Knoxville saves animals from extinction every day. Our dedicated Animal Care staff remained all hands on deck during this crisis to ensure the animals in our care were not negatively impacted. At the same time, every day we were closed we lost an average of $22,500 that directly supports our animals and their care team.

We are sensitive to the fact that our community’s needs are many at this time. We are so grateful to those that have asked how they can help. If you are able, please consider a donation to our Emergency Animal Relief Fund to assist us in maintaining the highest quality animal care. Your support is critical—now more than ever.