"We do not support the move of the zoo": Jackson mayor opposes p - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

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"We do not support the move of the zoo": Jackson mayor opposes proposed move

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Jackson Zoo board has voted to move the zoo from West Capitol Street to LeFleur's Bluff State Park.

On Wednesday, Jackson's mayor spoke out on the vote. He was joined by Working Together Jackson and other city officials.

READ MORE:  Jackson Zoo looking to relocate to LeFleur's Bluff State Park

"We do not support the move of the zoo from West Jackson," Lumumba told a crowd gathered on the steps of City Hall.

Applause followed his vocal opposition to moving the zoo to northeast Jackson.

He was joined by Council President Charles Tillman in whose ward the zoo sits and Working Together Jackson. That organization represents 35 community institutions, including the Zoo Area Progressive Partnership.

The mayor said the city will not support losing another resource in west Jackson.

VIDEO: Jackson Zoo patrons react to possible relocation

"Other measures can take place. There is, right now at this time, we talked about a contract which is expiring," said Mayor Lumumba, "I said that we would use all, we would look at all tools in our shed as an opportunity to demonstrate what we feel."

According to city officials, the contract with the zoo expires in September.

Each year the city makes a payment to the zoo. That amount now stands at $900,000, though the zoo has requested more.

"West Jackson and its residents will not shoulder the blame for the burden for the Jackson Zoo's inability to survive," said Heather Ivery with Working Together Jackson. "There are many factors that have contributed to its steep decline in attendance over the last 10 years, many of which are the results of years of neglect."

Mayor Lumumba called the $50 million investment needed to move the zoo disrespectful when the same investment has not been made in the current location.

He would not elaborate on other resources that the city would use to stop the move. 

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