Hinds County supervisors pledge $10K to zoo - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hinds County supervisors pledge $10K to zoo

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Visitors to one of Jackson's landmarks, the Jackson Zoo on West Capitol Street, see two abandoned businesses across the street near the entrance. The neighborhoods surrounding the non-profit zoo have deteriorated.

The zoo has faithful patrons like Kristin Farough and her 2-year-old son Owen.

"We love the zoo. When we moved here the first thing we did was get zoo memberships," Farough said.

But zoo attendance over the past seven years has eroded considerably. Zoo Director Beth Poff says the time has come for drastic measures.

"It's going to be a long conversation, everything from close, to move, to stay, to expand," she says. "Our board and some other work groups are looking at what our options might be, because in the last 6-7 years we've lost 35% of our attendance. We should be doing 230,000 easily."

But only 117,000 people came to the zoo in the last year.

On Monday, the Hinds County Board of Supervisors pledged $10,000 to the zoo. The cash will go toward improving some of the cement pathways, especially toward the walk-in entrance.

Later this week, Poff will ask the Jackson Mayor and City Council to increase the zoo's yearly allotment from just over $900,000 to $1.4 million. That will help the zoo maintain its accreditation, and to possibly flourish once again. 

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