WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) – Zoo New York in Watertown has made the difficult decision to close for at least the winter with no re-opening date in sight.

In a press release, the zoo made the difficult decision to close to the public on Friday, October 27. Zoo New York will re-open for Saturday’s Dia de los Muertos event, but close back down after that.

A total of five full-time employees, six part-time workers and four seasonal employees will be laid off due to the closure. The zoo cited continued financial difficulties for the decision to shut down.

The zoo, which has been around since 1921, will still employee workers that will help care for the animals and maintain the area.

The press release also went onto say that it will work with city and county officials along with community partners to find a way forward.

The Thompson Park Conservancy said in the press release the decline in financial stability started in 2003. This was reflected in deferred maintenance and increased financial challenges.