But life went on behind closed doors, with the animal community getting on with their routine.
And that meant the continued patter of tiny –and not so tiny – feet as many new arrivals were welcomed into the world.
That meant a new rhino calf at West Midlands Safari Park, a beautiful baby Western chimpanzee at Chester Zoo, cute meerkats at Telford Exotic Zoo and an adorable baby wallaby at Dudley Zoo.
The safe arrival of new animals has been a particular joy for staff who have continued to work hard to keep zoos and animal parks up together through the year.
While visitors have been allowed back, it is been a fragmented year that has cost all zoos dear. Some help has come from the Government and appeals have also brought in much-needed revenue from the public.
Dudley Zoo lost £200,000 from the November lockdown alone. A JustGiving page set up early in the pandemic raised £40,000 and more has been donated since.
Chester Zoo’s chief executive Dr Mark Pilgrim said he was “overwhelmed” after 130,000 donors from 90 countries sent funds to help deal with a “£5.5m scar”.The zoo said Covid-19 rules had pushed it “to the edge of extinction”.