RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -Sierra Nevada Zoological Park is welcoming visitors back just in time for the holiday season.

Steve Higgs is the head animal coordinator and director at the zoo.

“We had our major struggles just like any other business and people this year due to COVID,” said Higgs. “We were closed for a long period of time, 6 months or more.”

Sierra Nevada Zoological Park
Sierra Nevada Zoological Park(KOLO)

It was a slow re-opening process for the zoo, as they were still unable to take in new animals due to a lack of funds and we’re unable to cut back on necessary expenses.

“It really put a cramp on us because the cats and animals still needed to be fed,” explained Higgs. “We still have all our bills and things like that. At one point we were really concerned that we might have to close because of the fact we were unable to finance all the stuff we had to keep going.”

Thanks to the generosity from the community, Higgs is now able to resume daily operations to try to get the zoo back on track.

“Now that we’re open, the people from Nevada stepped up and have been so good,” added Higgs. “We had people donate all different kinds of money. we’ve had hunters bring us meat.”

This October, families can get some fresh air and enjoy activites outside like the hay maze and petting zoo....all while staying six feet apart.

“Boo at the Zoo has been a really good hit,” said Higgs. “We got all kinds of stuff here where people can participate, kids and families. gives them a chance to get away from home.”

With the growing support, Higgs is hopeful that local events will help keep the zoo open as they approach the slow winter months.

“We got a lot of incredible animals, kids can see like a tiger and lion,” said Higgs. “It’s quite the experience.”

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