MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but zookeepers are still working to keep things running smoothly.
The Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but zoo keepers are still working to keep things running smoothly.
Every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the animal staff reports to work as usual to feed and maintain the animals in each exhibit. The staff said the animals operate on a schedule all year round.
Zoo Director Joe Clawson said regardless of whether the doors are open, he considers this role to be a major responsibility.
“I have a sense of duty. It's very ingrained and I’m here every day to serve the public still, to serve the animals we care for, and to serve my employees, and to make sure everything goes smoothly,” said Clawson.
He said the staff always practices good hygiene because of their interactions with animals, but have set up additional sanitation stations throughout the zoo since the coronavirus.
Clawson said they are working to make the zoo accessible to the public online following the statewide COVID-19 Stay At Home Order. They are creating a Youtube channel so people can view the zoo animals from the comfort and security of their homes.
“People can see it and share it, and so that we stay in people’s minds and they see that we’re still here and we’re doing fine as of now,” said Clawson.
He said he hopes this will keep the public entertained until the zoo officially opens its doors again.
"I'm hoping this lasts as short as possible so we're still on the stage, we're still doing everything we're supposed to do. At some point, I want to pull that curtain up and let people see it again."
Go to the Louisiana Purchase Zoological Society's Facebook page to stay connected with updates from the zoo.