Aussie zoo opens in new state of emergency

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The owner of the Austin Zoo says it is preparing to open in a new state if the federal government can’t provide funding for its emergency operations.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says it has received more than $20 million in state and federal emergency funding for the Austin zoo.

But the zoo says it needs more money to pay for its employees.

Austin is the only zoo in the U.S. to be under an emergency state of lockdown.

The zoo says its emergency operation will begin in early October and last three months.

It will operate under strict protocols.

Zoo director Kevin Molloy said Monday that he will have to meet with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission to determine how much more funding is needed.

He says that could take up to three weeks.

The state Department of Natural Resources says it’s working with other institutions to get funding for emergency operations, including the Austin Botanical Garden, the Museum of Texas History and the Texas Botanical Gardens.