HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Hattiesburg Convention Comission Board and City Council approved an $800,000 budget for three new project that includes the city's zoo Tuesday at a City Council meeting.
“Most of the animals we will get will not actually cost us, what cost us is the exhibit. They’re very expensive," said Convention Commission Executive Director Rick Taylor.
Taylor said the goal is to remove barriers between animals and people.
"If we’re looking at a modern zoo and where we’re wanting to see the Hattiesburg zoo go, we’re looking at rock structure and obviously we don’t have a lot of boulders in our environment. You’ll need motes, you’ll need fencing...,"
Board officials shared how welcoming new animals is not always so easy, zoos trade based on breeding and availability. "what we’re going to do is see; how much money we have, what animals are available, the cost of an exhibit but also the cost of operating meaning what’s the cost to keep this animal over time,” Taylor shared.
The Convention Commission Board said in the end educational, community engagement and tourism increases.