Wright Park Zoo closed until further notice – Dodge City Daily Globe

Melissa McCoy City of Dodge Public Affairs

Wright Park Zoo will be closed to the public until further notice, beginning Sunday, September 18 at 5 p.m. Zoo staff are currently working to find temporary homes and sanctuaries that will provide nurturing and safe facilities for the animals.

Shakira, our Siberian tiger, is one of the animals that will be permanently relocated to Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary later in September. Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary (The Scott Foundation) is a Global Federation of Animal Sanctuary (GFAS) 501(c)3 verified non-profit big cat rescue and education. As a true sanctuary, they do not buy, sell, breed or trade any of their animals.

The City Commission will consider the zoo’s future direction as part of the 2023 budget planning process. The City’s budget will be approved at a special meeting on Monday, September 26 at 7 p.m.

The city was ready to launch the “Redo the Zoo” master plan just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a long setback. The projected cost of the multi-phased project was $4.4 million, of which the city commission originally considered committing $2 million. Currently, staff are evaluating options for the plan and working to secure public/private partnerships to help with funding or in-kind donations for the project.

The Wright Park Zoo Master Plan can be viewed at https://www.dodgecity.org/106/Wright-Park-Zoo.