SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. The Riverside Discovery Center has closed temporarily for the public but their staff still remains at work.
“We felt that given the nature of what we are and a lot of people coming through, it was best that we be closed in order to do our part to help flatten the curve,” explained Anthony Mason, Director.
The zoo’s number one priority is taking care of their animals.
With the staff being small, if one of their employees was to get sick, it could impact their ability to care for their animals.
Mason says they have not had to cut or restrict any of their employees hours but the loss of revenue hurts them in a big financial way.
“With being closed, we have virtually no revenue coming in especially as we are going into the busiest time of the year,” said Mason. “This is incredibly impactful to us and our ability to feed the animals and to keep payroll staff.”
The needs of the zoo stays the same whether it is opened or closed.
When it comes to precautions, staff is wearing protective clothing such as masks, gowns and gloves, provides footbaths, hand sanitizer, hand washing and staying six feet away from animals if it’s possible.
With some evidence of potential spread to non-human primates, these precautions are essential.
Mason says just like the rest of the community, he’s happy they are all coming together.
“With this just as anything else, we are all in this community as a community,” said Mason. “Here at the zoo, we know we are not the only ones in need right now. We know that a lot of other small businesses, restaurants and workers are also hurting. We certainly don’t want to detract from that. We really appreciate everything everybody is doing to step up.”
Attendees can still help by acquiring a zoo membership or making a monetary, meat and hay bale donation by going on their website at RiversideDiscoveryCenter.org
Riverside Discovery Center is also hosting Keeper chat videos, education videos and updates through their Facebook page.
The Easter Egg Hunt that was originally scheduled for April has been moved to a future weekend in May.