Jackson mayor speaks on future plans for zoo

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba said the zoo is staying put as the city searching for a new group to manage the property.

While contract negotiations fell through with ZoOceanarium, Lumumba said the zoo is seeing a boost in visitations.

“We have witnessed a zoo that has garnered its USDA licensing. A zoo that has made several repairs longstanding and in need of being addressed over time,” he stated.

Leaders with the Parks and Recreation said the Jackson Zoo has hand more than $350,000 worth of renovations.

“Not only do we want a zoo that is open and welcoming to visitors, we also want to demonstrate compassion and care for those who take care of the animals. And so that is high on our priority list,” said Lumumba.

The zoo estimates 400 to 600 people have visited zoo each weekend, with the highest total being 1,000 visitors.

“We’re really excited about the opportunity. We’ve decided we’re in a position now to open additional days which would allow schools and youth groups to come in Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,” explained Ison B. Harris, Jr., director of Parks & Recreation for the City of Jackson.

The zoo will expand its hours on May 6, 2021.

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