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The Oregon Zoo Plans to Reopen This Summer. Don’t Fear the Bat Exhibit.

When the pandemic shut the zoo down in mid-March, it didn’t just close a Portland institution—it shuttered Oregon’s biggest paid tourist attraction.

WW presents "Distant Voices," a daily video interview for the era of social distancing. Our reporters are asking Portlanders what they're doing during quarantine.

Don Moore could only get through the first few episodes of Tiger King.

It's understandable: As director of the Oregon Zoo—an actual, accredited zoo, as he's quick to point out—the wild Netflix documentary doesn't register as an outrageous romp but as a horrifying insult to his profession.

It's particularly tough for Moore to watch right now, given the status of his own menagerie. When the pandemic shut the zoo down in mid-March, it didn't just close a Portland institution—it shuttered Oregon's biggest paid tourist attraction.

But the hiatus may be ending sooner than expected. Moore tells WW the zoo aims to reopen at some point this summer—with restrictions on capacity and public access to buildings. And no concerts, of course.

In this interview, Moore speaks to WW Editor Mark Zusman about protecting both the animals and their keepers from COVID-19, the theories surrounding the origins of the virus, and why the public shouldn't fear the bat exhibit.

See more Distant Voices interviews here