Staffing shortages impacting some attractions at the North Carolina Zoo

North Carolina

ASHEBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Staffing shortages could impact your family’s next visit to the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro.

“We have 50 plus seasonal positions open and it’s mid-July,” said Debbie Fuchs, public relations officer for the zoo.

The Air Hike ropes course is closed, along with Investigation Station.

“A couple of things we haven’t been able to reinstate are the keeper feeding and the keeper talks, that’s more for a COVID safety reason,” Fuchs said.

The zoo has been sending staff members to recruit at job fairs, and working with organizations like Goodwill and the Salvation Army to hire.

“It’s people that can run cash machines, to people that greet people at the attractions, people that rent out strollers and it runs the gambit of jobs that are available here,” she said.

The zoo lifted all capacity restrictions on July 1. Since then, they’ve stayed busy, with a single recent Saturday drawing more than 9,000 visitors.

The zoo is not offering signing bonuses like some other employers. Fuchs says there are other incentives to working on site.

“You get to work at one of the most beautiful places in the state, you get perks such as discounts in the gift shop, and free tickets for friends and family,” she said.

The zoo has more than 80 zookeepers on staff and a full staff of more than 225 people. Fuchs said throughout the pandemic, no one was laid off or furloughed.

“Animal care and wellness has not stopped, the animals are cared for greatly every day. They receive excellent veterinary care. None of that has changed,” she said.

The zoo hopes to reopen the closed attractions later this summer if they are able to fill more positions.

Seasonal jobs offer $8-$10 hourly. You can learn more about open positions here.

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