Skip to main content

Duluth City Council approves plans for smaller Lake Superior Zoo

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A revamped, smaller Lake Superior Zoo is closer to becoming a reality.

Following months of hearings, the Duluth City Council unanimously approved a concept plan for the zoo and Fairmount Park on Monday night, KBJR 6 reports.

The $15.8 million project would reduce the zoo from 19 acres to bout 10 acres, as well as create an open-access park. See the final concept drawings here.

The council's approval means officials can move forward with "final mini-master plans," FOX 21 says, and start looking into ways to fund the multi-million dollar redo.

The Lake Superior Zoological Society has a bonding request for $1.9 million to help renovate and re-purpose the polar shores exhibit, which has sat empty for years, according to the BuildMN website.

Julene Boe, interim CEO of the Lake Superior Zoological Society, plans to head to St. Paul this week to meet with legislators about the zoo's funding request, reports note.

Zoo officials are excited the city council approved the concept plan, with Boe telling FOX 21: "It ensures that we are still going to have a quality zoo" and she said it makes her happy the Lake Superior Zoo won't be turned into a "little petting zoo in the corner."

Initially, officials had considered some non-animal options for the zoo, among other proposals.

Next Up

monkeypox virus

Minnesota up to 6 confirmed cases of monkeypox virus

Most people recover at home within 2-4 weeks.

thc edibles

Did Minnesota just accidentally legalize THC?

A Republican lawmaker who voted to approve the new law in May is already talking about rolling it back.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 3.19.42 PM

Gasoline may be cause of sewer explosion on U of M campus

An all-clear was given around 9 p.m. Thursday, with residents in the area allowed to return to their homes.


Overwhelming demand for THC products on first day of new law in MN

One shop owner said his Chaska store broke the online sales record before they opened Friday morning.

Flickr - Lake Minnetonka boat - Greg Gjerdingen

Increased drunk boating enforcement over 4th of July weekend

The increased enforcement is part of the Operation Dry Water initiative.


Four kayakers stranded, rescued in Chisholm park

The kayakers became stranded at Redhead Mountain Bike Park Thursday afternoon.


Duo charged after 10-pound meth package sent to wrong address

More than 10 pounds of meth are off the street thanks to a delivery error.

Screen Shot 2022-07-01 at 11.01.32 AM

Bird Rides' suburban expansion continues in Minnesota

Its scooter season in Minnesota. The latest on where you can find Bird e-scooters:

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man found dead with 'trauma to his face' in St. Paul

A man was found dead with "trauma to his face" in St. Paul after 3 a.m.

Hibbing ambulance

Boyfriend jailed after woman found dead in Hibbing

The woman was found dead on Tuesday, June 28.


2 motorcyclists killed in crash near Duluth

The crash happened at a curve in the road north of Duluth.

Life Link

18 injured in two separate crashes involving teen drivers

The crashes happened Thursday in Ham Lake and North Branch Township.


Lake Superior Zoo reopening

It's been more than three weeks now since Feisty the seal and Berlin the polar bear rode the floodwaters out of their zoo enclosure and into a media spotlight. Their Polar Shores exhibit remains empty while officials at the Duluth zoo decide whether to revive it. But the rest of the Lake Superior Zoo reopens to visitors Friday for the first time since the flood. One official calls it a step toward a return to normalcy.