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North Carolina Zoo experiencing staffing shortage, popular attraction closed

The zoo is looking for mainly seasonal staff, but with it being their busy season, not filling those positions is creating some challenges.

ASHEBORO, N.C. — The North Carolina Zoo is in a need to hire more staff. A shortage forced them to close one of its attractions.

There are about 50 open positions at the zoo, ranging from multiple types of positions. 

"The zoo is experiencing what a lot of businesses are experiencing and that's a shortage of staff," Public Relations Officer Debbie Fuchs said.

The zoo is looking for mainly seasonal staff, but with it being their busy season, not filling those positions is creating some challenges.

"We've been in a situation where we get some staff hired, we lose some staff, there's been a lot of difficulties getting people hired at all," Entertainment Branch Manager Bob Roberts said.

Roberts said all the animal habitats remain open, but the unfilled positions are why the Air Hike attraction remains closed.

"I have a lot of those staff that would be working there, running some of the other attractions," Roberts said.

Air Hike is one of the most popular attractions at the zoo and is currently the only one that is closed.

"I know everyone is short-handed, but I figured everything would be opened," visitor Marguerite Williams said.

Williams took her grandson, Tyler, to the zoo on Thursday. They said they were disappointed to find the attraction Air Hike wasn't open. But they still enjoyed the animal exhibits.

Fuchs said their biggest goal is to not impact guest experiences.

"We will do everything we can to keep all the food places open, and all the food kiosk, and attractions, and gift shops, and everything we can," Fuchs said.

The zoo is back to operating at full capacity. Visitors are not required to wear a mask but are encouraged to wear one if not vaccinated. Timed ticketing is also no longer required.

If you are interested in a job at the North Carolina Zoo, click here for more information.