Mayor discusses ZoOceanarium’s decision not to pursue operations of Jackson Zoo

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – After the ZoOceanarium Group announced they will not further pursue the operations of the Jackson Zoo, Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba discussed the decision on Friday.

He said first and foremost, having a steady and sincere leadership is key to decisions on the zoo and major issues that will impact the future of the capital city.

“When we look at contracts like ZoOceanarium, when we look at contracts that we feel ultimately have impact on the future of our city, it is important that we have a unified front that will look at it thoroughly, in a way most beneficial to our city,” said Lumumba.

The group’s decision not to pursue operations comes after more than two years of talks.

“It was a very tough decision for us to make but indeed, after participating in two and half years of good faith negotiations, we did let the City know that we will not be further pursuing the operations of the zoo,” said ZoOceanarium Managing Partner Chris Davis.

According to Davis, there were councilmembers who were “hostile” towards the idea of the zoo being managed by ZoOceanairum.

The zoo was previously managed by the Jackson Zoological Society. The facility closed in 2019 to undergo renovations and a change in management, but has since reopened on weekends and will open on more weekdays starting in May 2021.

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