Home » NEWS » Mississippi zoo faces money woes, idea of temporary closure

Mississippi zoo faces money woes, idea of temporary closure

The city council in Mississippi’s capital city has approved $200,000 to cover the Jackson Zoo’s “depleted” budget.

The funds will cover basic expenses such as payroll and animal care for August and September, until the next fiscal year begins Oct. 1, The Clarion Ledger reported .

Last month, zoo employees saw steep pay cuts and its executive director said the attraction was in “a dire situation” amid falling attendance and revenue.

“The zoo’s budget has been depleted. There’s nothing left,” Robert Blaine, the city’s chief administrative officer, told city councilors on Thursday.

One idea being explored is closing the zoo to the public for several months, Blaine said.

“We’d allow for care of the animals. It would be closed to visitors, and have an essential staff that would bring down operational costs,” he said.

Zoo attendance keeps dropping, from more than 185,000 guests in 2003 to just over 100,000 in 2017, the Jackson newspaper has reported.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, administration officials and some council members met with Jackson Zoological Society Executive Director Beth Poff and zoo board officials this week. That meeting was closed to the public.

The pay cuts for zoo employees were approved by the zoo board last month.

Salaried employees saw their monthly paycheck cut in half. Wages for hourly employees, whose pay ranges from $7 to $15 an hour, dropped to about $8 an hour.


… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About Associated Press

Leave a Reply