Frigid temperatures have been the cause for Sunset Zoo’s closure this and last week, as announced their facilities will be shutdown through Thursday.

Marketing and Development officer Mellisa Kirkwood says due to the Wind chill factors and the cold temperatures, it’s not wise or safe for anyone to be out for an extended amount of time.

“We are also taking precautions for all the animals that we care for at Sunset Zoo.” Kirkwood said. “Being an accredited zoo with AZA, we meet the standards to take care of our animals, and insure that they have proper protocols to stay comfortable and warm during these times.”

Addressing ongoing construction projects at the zoo and the weather’s impact , Kirkwood says it has slowed down slightly, but is still on target to complete Expedition Asia in the late fall of 2021.

“This past couple weeks we were on schedule to pour concrete and to pour concrete, this has not been the weather to do that and we will catch up and we will be right back where we need to be, but we also need to respect the weather and also understand that we don’t want our construction workers being out in the elements like this for an extended amount of time either”

Like many in the world, the Sunset Zoo has also embraced using platforms like Zoom to connect with patrons in an era of social distancing.

Kirkwood says, their program called “Call of the Wild” caters to a younger audience and is structured with a packet of activities from the zoo encouraging young patrons to submit art and crafts activities.

“There are some activity pages that you are able to integrate with the program and then you are able to log in with us during this weekly program, we talk about the craft project for the week if you’ve been able to do it. We also talk about focused animals each week”

An opportunity that many would leap for is “Frog Watch of the Flint Hills”, which Kirkwood says is a part of the Zoo’s outreach for conservation efforts, and is a program where the community can sign up as a volunteer with training offered both online and in person.

“We ask that participants of this program be at least 14 years old because after you receive the training you are going to learn what trump calls are like and most of the time those frog calls happen at night. One of the reasons we are wanting to do this conservation project to identify them is that we want to lessen their threat of being extinct.”

For more information regarding zoo programming, visit

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