Skip to main content

Minnesota Zoo seeks $1.5M emergency cash boost amid budget crisis

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A budget crisis at Minnesota Zoo has officials seeking a $1.5 million emergency cash injection in order to maintain its operations.

The Star Tribune reports that declining attendance and the growing cost of salaries and animal feed has "blown a hole" in the Apple Valley attraction's budget, and say further cuts could lead to layoffs and the closure of exhibits.

Governor Mark Dayton told the newspaper he backs the request for additional funding – which officials deny is a bailout – but was unhappy that zoo managers had been unable to balance their budget.

In October, the state-run complex laid off seven works as part of a round of cuts that shaved around $500,000 from its budget, according to the Pioneer Press.

State funding accounts for just under a third of the zoo's $25 million operating, the newspaper says, with the rest coming from admissions and private funding.

Following the last summer season, the zoo revealed its attendance was down around 4.5 percent, at a time when expenses for animal feed, energy and staff salaries went up, adding an extra $1 million to the budget.

Prior to this, the zoo, which had seen record attendances in recent years, topping out at 1.3 million, when new exhibits were revealed.

The Star Tribune reports the emergency funding request is already before the Minnesota Legislature.

Next Up

StumpysGoogleMaps

Beloved restaurant in southeastern MN to close after 40 years

A final night of celebrations is scheduled for Dec. 17.

PrinsburgGoogle

MN town shelves ordinance allowing residents to sue abortion providers

Attorney General Keith Ellison advised the town to not go forward with the ordinance.

Spring Street Tavern

Man shot dead inside Minneapolis tavern is identified

The suspect is being held on probable cause murder.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Strokes to play U.S. Bank Stadium in 2023

The Strokes will provide support along with King Princess.

Mall of America exterior Tyler Vigen Wikimedia COmmons

Settlement reached between MOA, family of boy thrown from balcony

The boy suffered multiple injuries that required several surgeries.

Pixabay - police crime tape do not cross stock

Body found in burned out car near Bird Island

The Renville County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

money hundred dollar bills

Chanhassen psychologist pleads guilty to $550K billing fraud

Charles Howard Jorenby, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of healthcare fraud in U.S. District Court late last month.

police lights squad car

Charges: Coon Rapids man had 25 pounds of cocaine from Mexico

Luis Javier Avila-Lopez, 38, was arrested after law enforcement seized the cocaine earlier this year.

Screen Shot 2022-12-04 at 9.16.52 AM

Responding to Twitter release, former Minnesota GOP candidate calls for 'bullets'

It was in response to a thread on Twitter concerning the social media giant's moderation efforts regarding political issues.

Related

Minnesota Zoo's expansion plans call for new Adventure Park, animal exhibits

The Minnesota Zoo's new master plan, which was approved by its board on Nov. 1, features some ambitious ideas for the Apple Valley facility. CEO Lee Ehmke told the Pioneer Press, "We inspire to become a world-leading zoo with the ultimate intention on saving wildlife and wild places. This is the next step in that evolution."