NC Zoo weighs going private from state support

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 29, 2012

ASHEBORO (AP) — North Carolina’s state-supported zoo is moving toward becoming a private entity and relying less on state money.
The News & Record of Greensboro reports the idea for the North Carolina Zoo near Asheboro to move toward a privately run operation has been under serious discussion for about a year.
Zoo director David Jones says the structure would give one of the state’s biggest tourist attractions more flexibility in maintenance and fundraising.
The nearly 40-year-old zoo houses about 1,100 animals on 2,700 acres.
The zoo last year had about 740,000 visitors and made about $6.5 million, the most for any state-owned attraction. It also spent about $17 million, more than all the museums owned by the state’s Department of Cultural Resources combined.