For the Picture of the Day today, one of my favorite animals, the red panda. Native to southwest China, it is a little cute fur ball with its distinctive red coloring and face mask. While they were initially thought to be related to the giant panda, modern research shows they are a member of weasel family. This one lives at the Lincoln Children's Zoo in Lincoln, NE, which is also home to a Red Panda Conservation Center.

Today's picture is one of a lot of people's favorite animal to see at the zoo, the giraffe. They are true marvels of evolution. with their long neck and tongues designed to help them eat the leaves of the thorny Acacia tree. This giraffe lives at the Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City, KS.

The woylie or brush-tailed bettong is a small marsupial from Australia. It is critically endangered because of introduced predators like red fox and feral cats. They are primarily fungivores, digging out fungi with their sharp claws. This pair lives at the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth, MN.

I kind of missed my weekly update this week. It was a busy week with work and bringing two college students back home. But things continue forward. I have more of the marketing stuff done for the book. The designer is working on the layout, but had some family challenges of her own in the current situation. But I am hoping to have test layouts this coming week.

And more and more people are getting interested in what I am working on. The page has nearly 1200 likes now. So thank you very much for taking an interest in my project. It means a lot to me. And if you would please share the page with your friends and the Pictures of the Day. It can be one way to brighten your friends' day in these dark times.

Earlier this week I asked folks to become a member at their local accredited zoo and I will ask that again. Zoos are really struggling right now. Most rely on ticket sales, concessions, and gift shop revenue to stay open. And as you know that revenue is gone now for the foreseeable future, so please if you can become a member of your local zoo.

And if you can contribute to the emergency fund for your local zoo. This is evermore important the longer this crisis lasts. So if you have an $25, please consider making a donation. You will be able to find the place to make a donation on their websites. And a personal thank you for for taking the time to do it.

Remember, we are all in this together.

So my update for today. Between Monday and today, nearly all of the remaining zoos on my list have closed. From my original list on Monday of 184 accredited zoos about seventy were still open. Today that number is now down to 20. That is how serious the current situation remains.

A couple of notes about the list. Please check the web site before you decide to visit, as this information has a shelf life of about a minute and a half. 

Second, even if you cannot visit the zoo you can still help out. Find your local zoo and become a member. AZA zoos have reciprocal agreements so typically you can get discounted admissions to other zoo and not just admission to your zoo, though some restrictions may apply.

Finally for today, keep supporting the zoos online by visiting their social media pages and liking their posts. That means a lot to them, even when they cannot have you there in person.