A lot has changed in Alexandria’s Alexandria Zoo, which has seen its annual opening day in 2018 dwindle to one day in July.
The zoo closed in August 2017 because the city had not received a grant to cover the cost of the park.
Now, it will be closed for good.
“We had hoped to reopen on Aug. 5, but this is a difficult time,” said Andrew P. Rios, the zoo’s director.
“This was a decision made with the full understanding that we will have to take it into 2018 to try to save it, but we just couldn’t find the funds.”
Rios said the zoo has to close because it’s too small and needs to have a permanent home for its pandemic exhibit.
“It is a zoo that’s been around for over 30 years,” he said.
“In my experience, when there is a pandemic, it is the most critical time to reopen and it’s the most stressful time to close it.”
Ries said the $15 million in renovations that the zoo is expected to undertake in 2018 will not be ready to reopen until 2019.
It will be the last time the zoo will be open.
Ries and other zoo directors are hopeful that the city will get a grant for the zoo.
“The city has said that it will get the grant for 2018,” Rios added.
“But it’s going to take a long time to get it in place.”
The city did not immediately respond to CBC News’ request for comment.
In a statement released on Friday, the city said that the funding is still being finalized and that it’s “expected to be completed by the end of the year.”
“It was a difficult decision, but in the end, we made the right decision to close the zoo,” said the statement from Mayor Mike Purzycki.
“Our zoo has had some outstanding partnerships with local and national organizations, and we have a strong community that we are proud to call Alexandria our home.”
In 2018, the Alexandria Zoo had a successful debut of a new exhibit that included a new pandemic model and an interactive exhibit that was part of the zoo, which was founded in 1963.
Roes said the exhibit was not designed specifically for the pandemics.
“Its designed for the public,” he explained.
“If you walk in the park and you see a zebra, you know what you’re seeing.
It’s not designed to be a pandemic exhibit.”
In 2017, the Zoo hosted the American Mammoth Conference, a trade show where the pandecap had its first big event.
Riebs said the Zoo has been busy in 2018 as it plans to open a new pavilion for the upcoming pandemic season.
“They’ve been doing a lot of renovations,” he added.
Riaos said the new pavillion will be a new addition to the Zoo, as well as the new pandememic exhibit, which will be accessible via a new ride system.
“For us, this pavilion is a huge step in our development as a zoo and as a city,” he noted.
“I think it’s a great step forward in our pandemic strategy and we’re excited about it.”
The pandemic is expected in 2023.
It is believed that more than 90 per cent of pandemic-affected animals will survive.
In 2017 alone, the number of animals in the Zoo had reached 5,000 animals.
Rio said the pandepics is “a very challenging situation” for zoo workers.
“With the new exhibits, it really allows for us to have our pandemis on display,” he told CBC News.
“Because we’ve got pandemes on display, they’re in a really good place to see how they react.”
The zoo was created in 1957 by Dr. Robert A. Jobe, a professor of biology at the University of Maryland, who believed animals could have health and welfare as important as human health.
The Zoo was renamed in 1965 and renamed the National Zoo of the American South in 1966.
It was then renamed the Smithsonian National Zoo in 1975.
The museum has since expanded into more exhibits, including the Smithsonian Tropical Aquarium, the world’s largest breeding colony of captive zebrafish.