SAN FRANCISCO—Directors of the San Francisco Zoo, California Academy of Sciences, and Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39 are concerned about the financial outlook of their businesses. These popular attractions have seen a severe drop in profit as a result of being closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nancy Chan, Director of Communications for the San Francisco Zoo and Gardens, explained the current financial status of the zoo in an email to the San Francisco News.
“The mandated closure has affected us greatly, as 75% of our revenue comes from admissions, membership and programs. We have been fortunate that our Board Members, community partners and suppliers, in addition to the generosity of donors and the public, have helped keep us afloat as the cost to feed our 2,000+ animals is nearly $30,000 per day,” said Chan.
The Aquarium of the Bay and California Academy of Sciences are also suffering financially, losing $4 million the SF Chronicle reported and $12 million respectively since the shutdown. Like the San Francisco Zoo, these attractions still take care of hundreds of animals despite their declining revenue in recent months.
The San Francisco Zoo and the Aquarium of the Bay were preparing to reopen on Monday, June 29 as part of the next phase of reopening, with the California Academy of Sciences planning to reopen in mid-July. They brought back workers and installed ways for visitors to maintain social distancing and proper hygiene. Three days before June 29, city officials pushed back the next phase of reopening because of a recent spike in coronavirus cases in the region.
Knowing that other California counties with higher death rates have already reopened their zoos, Chan and other leadership officials at the San Francisco Zoo are continuing to “ask members and the visiting public to remain patient until SF gives us the green light to safely reopen.”