With another beautiful weekend on tap, you may want to spend some time outdoors. The Reid Park Zoo can benefit from more people looking for a little walk on the wild side.
Attendance has been up this year and now fees will take a seasonal bump. Today it's $8 for a regular adult to visit the Reid Park Zoo. Tomorrow through it goes up a dollar.
But the zoo explains how it and its donors make sure they make the most out of what they get for that extra dollar.
A trip to the zoo brings places we may never visit within reach by seeing animals from other parts of the world.
"Oh I think it's beautiful, I enjoy it a lot," said Cheryl Graham.
Attendance went up as expected after the new elephant exhibit, Expedition Tanzania, opened with the help of a large campaign to raise funds.
Now Reid Park has a 9 percent increase in attendance over this time last year. From December through May, attendance fees go up a dollar more than usual and all of those fees go into the city's general fund.
"In trying times, in these economic times and cities are struggling that way and so we work with the city to try to make this the best way we can understanding that resources have to be stretched a lot further than they used to be," said Jim Schnomeier.
The zoo then receives about $3.5 million dollars a year from us, the city of Tucson. But, the Reid Park Zoological Society also contributes $600,000 each year for additional operations including time veterinarians spend with aging animals.
The society contributed millions for Expedition Tanzania.
"We think we bring a good product to the folks of Tucson and we do it at a reasonable cost," he said.
"Having a place where they can have some refuge and also educating the public, I think zoos are very important," said Art Braucksick.
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