With the City of Detroit in Chapter 9 bankruptcy, many are wondering what affect it might have on the Detroit Zoo. We don’t know and are reluctant to speculate, but Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) leadership has been actively engaged in discussions regarding the potential impact of the City bankruptcy on the Zoo for several months.
While the City owns the land and assets, our animals fundamentally have no commercial value in the modern era of zoos. So, the primary asset is really the land. The facility has obviously been developed as a zoo and would require major expense for other use. In a sense, the Zoo is priceless to the animals that live here and the community that comes here. As anything else, the cost of closing, clearing and building something else would not likely be financially feasible.
You’ll recall we went through great uncertainty seven years ago when we transitioned governance and management from the City to the DZS. It ultimately resulted in strong regional cooperation and community investment.
While the City continues on this challenging journey, we will continue to do what we do best – Celebrating and Saving Wildlife while providing the community with great experiences and new memories. We have obligations to all we serve and we intend to continue to meet those obligations.