The Horn T Zoo in Monroe welcomed new members to its family recently – two baby zebras. The business is now fully open on weekends.
This brings the number of zebras from three to five, noted Todd Laudenklos, who owns the zoo with his brother, Randy Fisher. Horn T Zoo, 37692 NE-22, previously had two females and one male.
“We have both the mom and the dad here,” Laundenklos said.
One of the babies was born July 2 with the second being born July 26.
“We’ve actually had a couple born before that but it’s been a while,” Fisher noted. “They’re doing good; they’re playing together and everything and they look healthy.”
The addition comes at a good time as the family-owned and operated zoo fully opened for patrons on July 11. Horn T had been closed at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It has ruined most of our summer business,” Laudenklos said, adding that much of their summer income had been generated from doing events such as carnivals and public shows. “That’s why we reopened our main zoo.”
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In May, the brothers held a social distancing friendly zoo drive-through event in which visitors were able to see different animals on display from the comfort of their own vehicle.
Horn T is open six months out of the year so it needs to generate enough money during the summer for operating expenses and to care for the animals throughout the winter season.
“I suppose we’re doing better but we’ve got a long road ahead of us,” Fisher said. “Things are going a little better than it was. We’re fully opened now so that has helped. Business has been very average to OK. But our numbers are down from a year ago.”
Horn T is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Along with zebras, they have roughly 30 different animal breeds, including rabbits, kangaroos, snakes, monkeys, lemurs and camels.
“We are open to the public,” Fisher said. “We do have guidelines that we’d like them to follow. It’s posted on our doors and in our building.”
Fisher added that a visit to Horn T Zoo gives area residents a trip to look forward to amid the coronavirus crisis.
“We’re here to give something for people to do and being safe about it. We use lots of hand sanitizer, spray down our railings. Anything else we could possibly do to make it safe for the public we do,” Fisher said. “We hope that (COVID) doesn’t scare them away from coming to the zoo. We really do appreciate the people who have supported us so far this year. It’s been a tough year for all of us.”
Hannah Schrodt is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.