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Jackson zoo faces money woes, idea of temporary closure

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The city council in Mississippi’s capital city has approved $200,000 to cover the Jackson Zoo’s “depleted” budget.

The funds will cover basic expenses such as payroll and animal care for August and September, until the next fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

Last month, zoo employees saw steep pay cuts and its executive director said the attraction was in “a dire situation” amid falling attendance and revenue.

Robert Blaine, the city’s chief administrative officer, told city councilors this week that one idea being explored is closing the zoo to the public for several months.

The newspaper has reported that zoo attendance keeps dropping, from more than 185,000 guests in 2003 to just over 100,000 in 2017.