Lake Superior Zoo seeking additional funding - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Lake Superior Zoo seeking additional funding


Without help from the city of Duluth, the Lake Superior Zoo could be in trouble.

On Thursday, the zoo has asked City Council for several hundred thousand dollars, and an extension on its outstanding loans. 

The Lake Superior zoo has withstood the test of time for nearly 100 years now.  

The zoo has been an icon for Duluthians, as well as people like the Hanno family, who visit from the Twin Cities every year. 

"Coming to the Duluth Zoo is one of our fall traditions. We come from the cities every year, and on our way through town we usually try to stop." Said Mark Hanno, who was bringing his kids to the zoo for their annual fall trip.

Those family traditions could be in danger as the zoo is currently behind on a loan payment, and asking Duluth City Council for even more money to continue operating through the end of the year. 

For Lake Superior Zoo, seeking an additional 200,000 dollars, and an extension on their current loans is essential for the zoo going forward. 

"This money would be used for for operations to keep continuous operations going in the zoo, or throughout the zoo through the end of January 2017." Said City Councilor Zack Filipovich.

In a statement from the zoo, officials say they are seeking the money in large part due to unresolved issues stemming from the 2012 flood. 
The damage to exhibits widdled down financial reserves. 

"After losing some key animals and exhibits, and the damage sustained in the 2012 flood, the zoo has been experiencing some financial difficulty in recent years." Said Filipovich 

The council will vote on the resolution on Monday.

In January, the zoo is set to receive nearly 700,000 additional dollars from the tourism tax fund, and state pass through money.

The 200,000 dollars the zoo is seeking would be taken from the city's tourism tax collection from 2016. 

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