Save Tennessee’s Zoos and Aquariums

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Zoo Knoxville
Zoo Knoxville signed this petition

Zoo Knoxville needs immediate help to survive.  As a non-profit that generates 75% of its annual operating income from visiting guests, the closure due to COVID-19 has created a financial crisis for the zoo. The zoo is closed but still caring for 700 endangered animals requiring highly specialized care while having lost its largest revenue source; the zoo is losing an average of $22,500 every day they are closed while still incurring weekly operation costs of $189,800 after reducing as many costs as possible.

The zoo’s dedicated team is working around the clock to pursue every funding option available but timing is the most critical issue. There is an immediate need for financial assistance to bridge the gap in cash flow while waiting for other forms of relief to become available. I am asking you to please supply emergency assistance from the State as a stop gap measure to cover the projected shortfall and ensure Zoo Knoxville remains operational during this crisis.

Zoo Knoxville is an integral part of our culture in Knoxville, bringing more than 250,000 tourists to our region each year and $22M to the local economy, serving as the largest educational resource outside of schools and working as an international conservation organization saving animals from extinction both locally and globally as part of more than 80 Species Survival Plans. 

Our zoo will also be an important part of the economic rebound of Knox County. They are committed to reopening as quickly as possible to help our community regain its footing.

Please support Zoo Knoxville, Nashville Zoo, Memphis Zoo, Chattanooga Zoo and the Tennessee Aquarium and help them weather this storm.  We will need them more than ever after this crisis has passed.

If you wish to make a donation to support Zoo Knoxville's crisis operations, you may do so at  Please note that donations made through support the petition and NOT zoo operations.