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Minnesota Zoo Fights to Stay Open If State Government Shuts Down

Gov. Mark Dayton's current proposal would keep 150 zoo employees working to care for the animals, but the zoo would be closed to the public.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton for which state employees could keep working and which services would still be offered in the event of a state government shutdown on July 1; a judge would make the final decision, should the state not pass a budget by the end of this fiscal year on June 30.

One of Dayton's proposals would keep 150 Minnesota Zoo employees working—about half the staff—but the zoo would be closed to the public. According to an article from TwinCities.com (Pioneer Press), the zoo is petitioning to stay open.

The zoo earns about $50,000 a day from admissions during July, its busiest month, the article says; zoo Director Lee Ehmke says in the article that the zoo can sustain itself with the admissions money it brings in during the summer.

The zoo's new Penguins of the African Coast exhibit also is scheduled to open to the public on July 9, which Ehmke said in the TwinCities.com article could help boost attendance this summer.

For more, check out the article, "Minnesota Zoo wants off Dayton's state shutdown list," at TwinCities.com.

For more information on the possible state government shutdown: Another article from TwinCities.com highlights which services a state government shutdown could stymie; Minnesota Public Radio also has put together a Frequently Asked Questions page with more information about what the possible shutdown could entail and why.

Jennifer Schafer June 20, 2011 at 03:08 PM
I hope the zoo does not get shut down. My family takes a trip here at least once a year. It is a great place for us all to get together and have a fun and exciting time. We are a group of 27 kids and adults and this is a place for all of us to enjoy. Please keep the Minnesota Zoo open so families like ours can enjoy this wonderful place as well. Jennifer Schafer, Minnesota
Jared June 25, 2011 at 12:21 AM
Why close something that generates revenue? If the budget is the issue why close something that brings money into the state. Closing the zoo will only cost the state more yes they would be cutting staff but the cost of feed for the animals does not go away.

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