ZooPerson163 t1_j1wxcia wrote

Zoo employee here and throw away account for obvious reasons. Separating from FONZ means the zoo lost our entire events team. We basically have two people doing the work of 25, without the help of volunteers. The company who used to install all of the lights went out of business this year and we had difficulty finding another contractor so we did the best we could. The zoo also doesn’t have a ton of money to run these events - we took a big financial hit during the pandemic. Also, animal houses are closed because we did stress studies on the animals over previous years and found their stress levels were higher when lights were on longer and when they were exposed to guests for longer hours. Believe it or not, most animals sleep a lot during the day and the disruption to their normal quiet hours was detrimental to their well being. It’s a welfare decision to close animal houses - one all of the zookeepers adamantly support. We also have less vendors this year, no snow tubing, minimal entertainment. Sorry - we know it’s not as good, but appreciate you coming! We’re doing nightly evaluations and taking suggestions from guests in an effort to improve it for next year.