MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Zoo officials say the zoo plans to reopen over the weekend after a judge ruled Saturday in favor of the zoo’s petition to remain open during the government shutdown.

Judge Kathleen Gearin ruled in favor of the zoo’s petition to remain open at 4 p.m., issuing an order that says money the zoo earns may be used for non-essential zoo maintenance.

Minnesota Zoo CEO and Director, Lee Ehmke, said that he was grateful for the judge’s ruling.

“She recognized in her order that we were not arguing that public operation of the zoo was a core, critical service, but instead correctly interprets the statue which provides that revenue earned by the zoo be appropriated to the zoo for its operations,” Ehmke said.

Zoo officials say it will reopen at 9 a.m. Sunday.

Comments (25)
  1. MAJ says:

    Should never have closed in the first place. Next will be the racetrack. Then the State Parks.

  2. M says:

    Oh wow. The judge says the ZOO can stay open but not the state parks or the lift bridge. THIS HAS BECOME BEYOND RIDICULOUS! Pass the budge and get on with things. This is only making everything worse for EVERYONE! Please act like adults and do your job!

    1. Mo says:

      maybe the state parks haven’t tried to the legal way of staying open yet? Ever think of that?

  3. Jake says:

    OMG, so a zoo is now an essential and necessary entity of gov’t that can’t be shutdown. Some people who are in gov’t need to be put out to pasture — PERMANENTLY. Some ‘shutdown’.

  4. Michelle says:

    The rest of us get fired for not doing our jobs!! Get it done already!! I hope they all enjoy their holiday weekend, i’m sure at their million dollar cabins!!!

  5. mugsy says:

    They are not saying the Zoo is essential, what they are saying is that it can remain open as long as they are using the money they have made to keep the Zoo open. They will NOT be open on Government funding so go complain somewhere else.

  6. woodman says:

    The Zoo is a profit center for the state so it is not costing the state to keep it open.

    1. Joe says:

      What a switch. At one time when the zoo was in the planning stages there were many people that thought it was stupid to spend state money to start a zoo in Apple Valley. Many thought it would become a black hole for money. Years later, the zoo has become so popular that it has become a profit center. Since it started making money for the state I haven’t heard from any of the naysayers on this topic.

      1. Jake says:

        Well then, why not keep the LOTTERY OPEN?? How about the horse race tracks?? State Parks?? When will the state start shutting down those departments that DON’T generate income for the state?? What a contradiction.

  7. Kim says:

    Yea, sure. We believe you…. Have any proof or are you just throwing around slanderous accusations?

    1. Jake says:

      There is NO SLANDER going on here. Either the MN Zoo is a self-sustaining entity, that brings in more money than they spend (which means that they are an ASSET to the state’s financial situtation, OR, they COST the state to keep it open, even after considering their ticket revenues. Yet, every other year, I keep hearing about how the zoo is lobbying the Legislature for MORE MONEY. So, which is it?? If the zoo is making money, then they can FUND their OWN expansion, and NOT ASK the STATE to fund ANYTHING in the future. I know that it is not the case, otherwise, the zoo proponents would not be lobbying to stay open. It’s all about ‘feelings’, not about facts or good decision making.

      1. Jeff says:

        do you hate puppies too?

      2. Sure Thing Jake says:

        So we shouldn’t listen to your “feelings”, that you flood the boards with?

      3. sue says:

        The slander accusations were about about a post that was removed. They claimed the judge was getting kickbacks, but of course had no proof and didn’t even know the judges gender or name.

  8. Jake says:

    If the zoo is a “for profit’ center, then why does the state deliver funding dollars to it every year??

  9. Jen says:

    Judge Gearin is a woman – why make accusations about a person when you don’t even know their gender?

  10. Alfred says:

    The Minnesota zoo does not turn a profit. It is basically a private zoo, funded by the taxpayers, where only the insiders get to see the animals up close..

    The monorail is self sustaining but only because of massive donations: http://www.allbusiness.com/specialty-businesses/non-profit-businesses/110410-1.html

  11. Jake says:

    LOL, another rip off from the Minnesota taxpayer. Nobody even knows who or what is coming or going….

  12. Stacy says:

    Well if the zoo can stay open because it can use its on profits to run, then after the shutdown is over I say they don’t get any more money from the taxpayer. You should not be able to have it both ways.

    1. Jeff says:

      let me guess, you hate puppies and kittens too?

      1. Comrade Lenin and Chairman Mao says:

        We love puppies and kittens! They tasted very good during our revolutions.

        Comrade Lenin and chairman Mao

  13. ronald says:

    dayton needs to go for good

  14. Jake says:

    This isn’t about my feelings, it’s about whether or not the zoo’s continued ‘services’ are really essential, and whether or not it is a net contributor or a net expense to the state, and if it is SO IMPORTANT for the zoo to stay open, then why not keep REAL money making entities open, like the lottery, the horse tracks, and the state parks?

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