City of Duluth says Lake Superior Zoo needs to find other sources of funding

By KBJR News 1

March 20, 2014 Updated Mar 20, 2014 at 8:44 PM CDT

Duluth, Min. (NNCNOW.com) -- It is no secret the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth took a big hit from the 2012 June floods.

After the natural disaster the zoo lost its main attraction, Berlin the polar bear.

Now the city, a financial supporter of the zoo, is asking the zoological society to step up and seek funding else where.

In a meeting Thursday morning with the society, Mayor Ness told the organization they need to start advocating for more funding from the state.

The zoo received $300,000 in flood relief from the state after the floods.

The city also provides supplemental funding to the zoo, but Ness says their needs are outpacing the city's ability to help. While they are still willing to pitch in money, it cannot be a long term solution to the problem.

"Now we are in a situation that they received $300,000 of flood relief and over the last two years they have lost $300,000 each of those two years because of decreased attendance," said the Mayor.

Mayor Ness made the comments at the Duluth Rotary Club meeting in West Duluth Thursday afternoon.

He said saving the zoo is important to the revitalization of the West Duluth Community.

Mayor Ness said the city along with the zoological society are trying to work with the legislature to get funding through a supplemental flood relief bill.

The zoo is also included in this year's bonding bill.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.