JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI – Due to the final stages of a management transition, the Jackson Zoological Park will temporarily close to the public as of Tuesday, October 1.
As the City of Jackson and management group zoOceanarium finalize the five-year operational contract of the park, licensing and certification must be approved by the USDA, as well as other regulatory agencies. Maintenance and inspections could take 60 days or more to complete.
During the hiatus from the public, both zoo and city staff will be working inside the fence lines on problem areas, animal exhibit details, and major repairs needed for the re-licensing and re-certification. Animal care will continue without any interruption, and with minimal change in protocol.
Popular events like Boo At The Zoo and Jackson Zoo Santa Station had to be cancelled, and school field trips were rescheduled due to the unforeseen shuttering. Future events, such as Zoo Day in March, Zoo Brew in April, and the Blue Bell Ice Cream Safari in July, remain on the events planning board for the 2020 centennial year celebrations.
Limited educational off-site outreach is available through the Zoo Mobile program (reptiles and birds only), and small volunteer opportunities like landscaping are still needed during the closure. People ages 13 years up and older needing community hours can sign up through the Jackson Zoo’s GiveGab.com page.
Jackson Zoo active membership holders will continue to be able to use their member cards at local partner restaurants for the 15% discount (Mangia Bene restaurants Sal & Mookies, Bravo!, and Broad Street; Iron Horse Grill; Brent’s Drug’s; Barrelhouse; Fenian’s Pub; Twisted Pretzel; Brick Street Pops; and Dippin Dots). Once the park has re-opened, all active membership expiration dates will be extended to reflect the length of time of the closure, as will any outstanding comp passes or Groupon vouchers.
Fans and community partners are encouraged to follow the progress of the Zoo Staff on their social media sites (Facebook and Instagram: @JacksonZoo), and through regular e-blasts (sign up on the website home page). Repairs and renovations will be documented, and media will be invited in periodically to report on the activities.
Any questions or comments about the management contract may be directed to Dr. Robert Blaine, Chief Administrative Officer of the City of Jackson, at 601-960-2313. All daily operation questions can be answered by Interim Director David L Wetzel at 601-352-2580 ext 237.
Elisabeth J Rivers (EJ)
601-352-2580 ext 227