Board paying $25,000 to examine issues at the zoo

Board paying $25,000 to examine issues at the zoo

February 8th, 2011 by Pam Sohn in Local - Breaking News

The Friends of the Zoo's board, which took over the operation of the Chattanooga Zoo in September, has contracted a $25,000 consultant study to examine everything from the zoo's management team to its policies.

"Everything is on the table," said board chairman Gary Chazen, who with two other board members addressed the Chattanooga City Council's Legal and Legislative Committee this afternoon.

In a separate meeting today, the group talked with editors and reporters at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

"We know there some issues there [at the zoo], and obviously we've going to try to get to the bottom of it," Chazen told the Times Free Press.

He said the zoo has asked the United States Department Agriculture, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the consulting firm to help. The board also is awaiting necropsies for the seven animals that died in a month's time over the holidays.

At the council committee meeting, Chazen told council members that recent days at the zoo "have been difficult ones."

"With the loss of Hank, as well as several other animals over such a short period of time, we have questions that must be answered," Chazen told the council.

"Once we have the above facts in hand, we will act responsibly, appropriately and quickly to make changes as necessary," he said.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.