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More Bad News - Detroit Zoo Could Close

Andrew Norton

A 7-2 vote by the City Council rejected a proposal to move operations of the Detroit Zoo to the Detroit Zoological Society.  Without the move of operations it would appear that the zoo will have to close.  Detroit would still have owned the zoo under the agreement, but the move would have saved about $5 million per fiscal year on Detroit's budget. Not only that, but if the council would have handed over the operations by midnight Sunday the zoo would have received $4 million from the state.  Now that $4 million is lost because the council voted against moving the daily zoo operations to the zoo society.  The zoo could close as soon as this spring according to Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's office.

It appears that pride may have been the overriding reason for council members voting against the operations transfer.  At least with the ownership transfer there would still be a zoo.  Now, unless some miracle happens it would seem inevitable for the zoo to close.

The only council members that voted for the transfer of operations were -  Sheila Cockrel and Kenneth Cockrel Jr.  If you want to have your opinion  heard, call  313-224-3443 to give your input to the  City Council.   Or  visit  and click "City Council," then "Feedback."  There are also links to the  individual council members  that include their email addresses  if you would like to contact them directly about their decision to not try and keep the Detroit Zoo open.