2 Twin Cities zoos find Legislature can be a tough jungle - Bring Me The News

2 Twin Cities zoos find Legislature can be a tough jungle


Officials at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley and Como Zoo in St. Paul are pushing for a combined $24 million in state bonding money this year to remake exhibits and update aging facilities.

But they are finding their wish lists are not an easy sell at the Minnesota Legislature as lawmakers sift through a blizzard of requests for capital projects from around the state, Finance and Commerce reports.

Gov. Mark Dayton has proposed spending $10 million for the Minnesota Zoo as part of a broader bonding bill proposal, and a House version seeks $5.25 million, but both are less than what the zoo asked for, the publication reports.

Como's request for money didn't make either proposal at all.

The Minnesota Zoo aims to remake the former dolphin exhibit, reconstruct a new snow monkey exhibit, as well as other infrastructure projects.

Como Zoo officials want $2 million to put toward a $10 million seal exhibit, and they support a $7 million request for transportation and parking improvements at Como Regional Park, Finance and Commerce reports.

Next Up


Stingrays may replace dolphins at Minnesota Zoo

Schools of fish and stingrays will likely replace dolphins at the Minnesota Zoo, at least in the short term, MPR reports. The zoo decided this spring it would no longer house dolphins after one died in February, leaving only two in the collection.

Minnesota Zoo plans final farewell for dolphins

Visitors have until Sept. 9 to say goodbye to Atlantic bottlenose dolphins Allie and Semo, the Star Tribune reports. The Apple Valley zoo's Discovery Bay exhibit, which houses the dolphins, is closing for a major $4 million facelift.