N.C. zoo closes in tribute to animals that were in the park

NATIONAL ZOO, N.J. — The National Zoo and the Cleveland Zoo have closed in honor of animals who were in a park before the park closed, officials said Thursday.

The zoo and the two other Cleveland parks are part of a national initiative that was created in 2017 to honor animals who died in captivity.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture closed in the summer after being closed for a time due to the Zika virus outbreak.

The National Zoo opened in 1904.

The Cleveland Zoo opened on Aug. 1, 1912, and the National Zoological Park opened in 1926.

Both parks are in Ohio and about 90,000 people visit each each year.

The closure is a celebration of animals that have died in the parks and the animals who lived and breathed in the cities they visited, officials from the National Zoo said.

“These are our animals and they will never go away.

We are grateful to them for their contributions to our community and for giving us the opportunity to share their lives,” said Nancy Schumacher, executive director of the National Parks Conservation Association.

The two parks will reopen in 2021.