At the Nashville Zoo, the animals miss you as much as you miss them

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Nashville Zoo is home to more than 2,674 animals and 365 species. The Zoo attracts more than one million visitors each year, but since March 18, its doors have been temporarily closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are missing the animals at the zoo, some of them are missing you too.

Jim Bartoo, Marketing and Public Relations Director at the Nashville Zoo, says that they have between 60 and 70 staff members reporting to work each day to take care of the animals. Some of the animals have noticed that there aren’t as many friendly faces as usual.

“Our male giraffe seems to be very interested when someone comes around. He’ll walk right up to the front area and stare right at you if he sees somebody over there. And normally that doesn’t happen, he’s used to crowds and crowds of people. Certainly, our primates are smart enough to understand someone’s around so they may come up and look at what’s going on and they may not always do that if there’s always a stream of people passing by.”

Other zoo species don’t seem to care as much.

“And then there are other animals that just don’t care one way or another, mostly cats, cats never care.”

If you need your zoo fix, zoo staff has been coming up with creative ways to interact with the public via Facebook. You can get a close look at the animals through pictures, videos, and Facebook Lives.

If you want to support the Nashville Zoo, you can donate or you can reach out to your Federal Congressional officials and let them know that zoos and aquariums are important. Zoo memberships are also available. For current zoo members, expiration dates have been extended to account for the time the zoo has been closed due to COVID-19.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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