I'm concerned about how the need for a new zoo is presented. Claims are made about pressure from AZA in maintaining accreditation and how it’s "doubtful" that the zoo will be economically viable if it stays in place. It's unclear where these statements are supported. I haven't seen an analysis of the economic viability of the current zoo, with or without the expansion and renovation previously planned.The AZA report lists nothing under "Major Concerns" following its inspection and only a few "Lesser issues", positively noting animal welfare. Even where it notes some modernization is necessary, there is no indication improvements are infeasible (this was part of the prior plan). It’s clear the zoo is interested in a bigger destination/revenue zoo with fee parking. I hope the City will provide an objective assessment that also considers the current location and accurately describes the cost, family affordability, and environmental impact of building a large, less centralized zoo.
I am a parent of four children who have spent many days visiting the zoos, attending zoo camps, and attending special events. We live nearby the zoo and have greatly enjoyed the steady improvement to amenities and zoo experience over the last few years. Nevertheless, we understand the Zoo Society's interest in improving the amenities further and offering the Sacramento community a zoo more worthy of it's size and interest in zoo animals. However, I am reluctant to support the zoo's move without a material commitment from the City to retain the zoo grounds as a new treasured amenity of William Land Park, consistent with the level of attractiveness and public use of the current zoo. In deciding whether to relocate the zoo, I urge City Council to also commit to a second plan to make appropriate use of the very valuable zoo property and ensure it retains the prestige of public appreciation associated with the zoo property.