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Should Douglas County support the creation of a regional zoo?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on September 28, 2005

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Photo of Andrew Ledbetter

“I think that would be awesome. It’s always nice to have a place to go see the animals. To go on a date or take kids there would be great.”

Photo of Cemetrice Rooks

“I think so. I think it would be more educational to see the animals in a larger environment. It might be able to generate some money as well.”

Photo of Sherry Love

“If studies show that it is financially feasible, then I think it’d be great for children to have closer access to zoos.”

Photo of Jesse Johnson

“Yeah. Any expansion to the Topeka Zoo would be an improvement. A complete rehab of that place would be awesome.”

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Comments

b_asinbeer 9 years, 4 months ago

I don't know the specifics of this, but I'm all for it....if they can find the funding. No doubt that a zoo is good for any community, but it is expensive. The start-up cost for the project will be high. Maintenance will also be high. Will they make enough money to eventually self-fund it? Or, will tax payers be burdened with this?

I like the whole idea, but with a zoo in Topeka and another one in KC, is there a market for this?

Lot of questions need to be answered (or at least I need answered) before we go ahead with this idea.

enochville 9 years, 4 months ago

We don't need a zoo in Douglas County. As has been mentioned, we have one in Topeka and one in KC, which are close enough. We also have Prairie Park Nature Center if you just have to see some wild animals. There are exotic animals at the Pet Store in The Malls on 23rd and Louisiana. I know it is not the same, but let's not duplicate something that we already have a short distance away.

sharron5rs 9 years, 4 months ago

I would love to have a zoo closer than KC or Topeka,so I could take some of my grandkids once in a while. But your right blue73harley.And I was looking forward to going to the circus.

trinity 9 years, 4 months ago

aye aye aye, mayor. just yesterday i read about the abundance of people selling themselves in the downtown topeka area for crack; now he's trying to drum up support for a regional zoo???

why not clean up things that are already amiss, before conjuring expensive and potentially flash in the pan new schemes?

i say NO-unless of course there's a wal-mart attached to a regional zoo. smirk

Liberty 9 years, 4 months ago

Yes, we could have a wonderful display of politicians in them.

neopolss 9 years, 4 months ago

There's also a small petting zoo in Olathe that's great for the kids - and FREE!

Richard Heckler 9 years, 4 months ago

b_asinbeer got it this morning. No is the answer. We have the Natural History, Priairie Park, Clinton Lake area,Topeka and Kansas City Zoo's. $35.00 buys a family pass for 12 months... go have fun and learn in Kansas City and Topeka. My wife and I worked at the Tulsa zoo for a few years and I would say too many too close not good.

Let's build a VO-Tech school instead

hawkrew 9 years, 4 months ago

Well, yesterday's question produced an argument on whether or not there was enough to do for kids in Lawrence and a zoo would definitly be one of those places.

However, the startup costs for a zoo must be enormous, not to mention the fierce competition to get one of those black rhinos...

hawkrew 9 years, 4 months ago

The KC zoo is just fine for me, not that I have been there in about five years...

Topside 9 years, 4 months ago

Actually folks, I didn't read the whole article (thanks MTV/ADD) but the proposed Zoo is probably going to be in TOPEKA. It won't be anywhere near your expensive JOCO, er I mean, Lawrence lofts downtown. Land developers in Douglas Co. won't have to worry about losing out on all those profits on throwing up apts. or duplexes to a Zoo that will eat up space and profits. Topeka is already a ruined "cesspool", that so many of you have nicely pointed out, so who cares if they scoop the poop. I am 100 percent for a great zoo in NE kansas but I want to hear some price garuntees. The rolling hills zoo is nice but it's like 17 bucks a head! I know it's because it's privately owed but the man will stick it to us for that amount if he can.

bankboy119 9 years, 4 months ago

No. The zoos in T-Town and KC are just fine. There isn't a market in Douglas County.

Topside 9 years, 4 months ago

Wichita has a pretty nice zoo too. I was there a couple of years ago and was very pleased, just bring your walking shoes.

nlf78 9 years, 4 months ago

I don't think we should fund the rehab of the Topeka Zoo. I took my daughter there earlier this year...half the displays don't even have animals! I, for one, would rather drive to KC or Omaha to see a zoo. That way...the funding isn't coming out of my pocket. Oh, except for the cost of admission!

nlf78 9 years, 4 months ago

It looks like I also need to check out the Wichita Zoo at some point

Aiko 9 years, 4 months ago

Just for the record, a pet store is not a Zoo! I know some people take their kids there and tell them it is a Zoo and that is just wrong. I am for it if it is a VERY nice facility and the animals are well taken care of.

hawkrew 9 years, 4 months ago

There are many other useful things DG Co can put money towards than renovating or creating a regional zoo that will probably be just as far as the zoos are now.

Free Monkey Friday sounds fun but I think Penguins would be better....

Topside 9 years, 4 months ago

nlf78-The proposal is not a rehab of the Topeka Zoo. It would be building an all new large sprawling zoo out in Shawnee Co. somewhere. My guess is it will go in up in North Shawnee Co. Also, those exhibits have some sweet tigers and leopards in them now. ALso, the hippos are outside now.

OMB- I too have heard outstanding things about the Omaha Zoo just haven't made it up there yet.

TOB-Thanks for the restatement. As I began reading the posts I was like???

Ceallach 9 years, 4 months ago

No, I do not think Douglas County should help fund an expansion of the Topeka Zoo. If their administrators cannot manage a little zoo why would we think they could manage a larger zoo? Their financial and administrative woes have been reported since Day 2, no wait, make that Day 8, we weren't here until Day 6 :-)

How lazy are Lawrencians? It is less that an hour, East or West, to a zoo!

I'm sure Topeka would like help with funding their recreational ventures, so would I. If Douglas County has money to help Topeka, how come my real estate taxes keep increasing? I think they should extend property owners of DG County a helping hand before pouring their sand funds down Topeka's rathole.

Ceallach 9 years, 4 months ago

merrill: Of course we cannot build a VO-tech school. VO-tech has too much of a middle-class ring to it. The artistic and educationally elite have definite quotas on how much and when that segment is allowed to thrive (can't have them taking over :). btw, I think adding educational opportunities to more than university students and families is a great idea.

Topside 9 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for the tips on Omaha ya'll. I'll tell the ol' lady and the youngin' we definitely got to go and quit stallin'.

Anyhoo...I do think the Prairie Park(?) nature center there in Lawrence is nice. we walked through there with some friends of our and their kid. I thought that, for free, it was a great thing to do in Lawrence. I don't know how the center got started, city, county, or private, but its nice.

mightyquin 9 years, 4 months ago

While the idea of a quality regional zoo may be acceptable to most folks, I dont believe there will be many willing to use tax dollars to build and maintain one. Not when there are so many other critical things that the money should be spent on. And if the people who are in charge of the Topeka Zoo are going to be running it then definitely not!!!! They cant run what they have properly. The Topeka zoo used to be a great place when I was a kid, now it is a joke.

happyone 9 years, 4 months ago

I don't think that there needs to be another Zoo built in or around Topeka. Especially not funded by other counties as perposed. The Topeka Zoo is a great size for smaller kids, and with all the improvements that have been taking place this year (Thats why many of the animals are not on exibit) It will be even better next season. With everything that has been happening at the Zoo....The pride of Lions getting cancer and dying, they have new younger ones, that last I was there where still in seclusion to make sure they were healthy. The Black panthers and Tigers that are waiting for their display areas to be finished. The new Elephant area that is MUCH bigger than the old one and the new OUTSIDE enclosure for the Hippos. Also the new larger cages for the eagles are all steps in the right direction for the Topeka Zoo. Upgrades to a Zoo take time and money. If you are not happy with the Topeka Zoo ask what is going on, they are more than happy to inform you, then get involved and become a FOTZ.

Linda Aikins 9 years, 4 months ago

Just joined in - why is everyone getting removed this morning? What did I miss?

Lulu 9 years, 4 months ago

A zoo is a prison where innocent animals are sentenced to spend the rest of their lives until death. Put these zoo supporting humans on display and see how they like it. I won't touch the food these poor defenseless animals have to eat. In Europe, the food was a major contributor to mad cow disease crossing species lines. Can anyone say cannibalism. No, a zoo is not necessary. Let the animals go free. Think of the Iraq war and how many innocent animals had to die from starvation because of a lie. Just as a zoo keeps animals locked up needlessly and the animals are confined to a 10 x 10 cell to pace out their existence forever. Unfortunately the animals come last. Just look at your dinner table with that undercooked rump roast. Stop the overpopulation of the humans and save the animals. Thank you RU 486. That is a good start.

sunflower_sue 9 years, 4 months ago

Good grief, NO!!!!

How about funding more affordable extracurricular activities for our youth? Maybe some art/ music/physical education classes that are affordable to ALL kids of Lawrence. Year round activities that don't cost Mom/Dad the price of a car payment every month?

A zoo! Let's just fence in city hall!

lunacydetector 9 years, 4 months ago

ru 486 is not the morning after pill. it induces an abortion of a developing human. the morning after pill is a higher dose of 'the pill.'

who is ben anyway, a bear?

lulu, you one wacked out woman - i mean womYn.

Aiko 9 years, 4 months ago

LuLu needs more Soy, or something????

Sunlover 9 years, 4 months ago

Ok, I'm gonna get some serious slack for this, but oh well. I am a mom of two little ones and I really think it would be great to have some place in this town to take them. I'm pretty much limited to McDonald's playland and the parks. There's no place to go in the winter/cold months. We try to go to the KC & Topeka zoo, but that's an entire day event. I would be thrilled to have a zoo in this town. Anyone else here have kids??

Carmenilla 9 years, 4 months ago

I love that people STILL take Lulu seriously. She's the liberal version of a hate-filled "yet" scripture quoting Conservative IMHO. I imagine her tongue is firmly planted in her cheek despite her rantings. She gives all you bashers exactly what you want to hear...the worst of the worst. I find her quite amusing.

Strangely coincidental question for me today. My family and another family are going to Omaha this weekend. We are planning on spending the whole day at the zoo. None of us have ever been and we are very excited!

As far as this silly question goes, NO. I think the KC Zoo is adequate. Top-City's zoo on the other hand is truly pathetic. Maybe they can fix that one up. But there is no need to finance and build a new one. Sadly, I have such fond memories of the Topeka Zoo from my childhood.

Sunlover 9 years, 4 months ago

The only cool thing about the Topeka zoo is the TRAIN!!

Sunlover 9 years, 4 months ago

I would love a mall (dare I say that in Lawrence) in this town...to have a place to go in the winter months with my children.

jonas 9 years, 4 months ago

Lulu! Yay!!!

I would allow myself to be put in a zoo. If I could just have a comfy couch, a computer with internet access, and maybe a TV and a video game console, I'd be in heaven. It would, after all, be my natural environment. Or maybe a blue-movie star as a mate like Billy Pilgrim got in the Tralfalmador zoo in Slaughterhouse 5. Either way, ya'know.

You'd make a pretty good exhibit too, Lulu. We could call you liberalus self-contradicticus.

And no, we should not help support another areas zoo. If they want our dollar support, then they can have it through our admission prices.

Carmenilla 9 years, 4 months ago

You want a mall so that you're kids will become good little consumers? Honey, there is waaaay better things you could do with your child than that. Sorry I'm not trying to be mean but a mall is that LAST thing our kids need.

"Mommmy! I wanna go to the mall!"

Thats my worst mightmare.....

Try the Indoor Aquatic Center or Prairie Park Nature Center during the winter months. Googols of Fun or Sunfire Ceramics or something!

But I know how hard it can be with little ones. Really I do.

Confrontation 9 years, 4 months ago

Perhaps the kids who run around the malls (or any other public place) and act obnoxious should be placed in a local zoo, along with their parents. My biggest question is this: Why would Lulu want to eat what animals eat? Does she expect them to be served Tofu or Soy Milk?

Carmenilla 9 years, 4 months ago

Exactly TOB! And you seem surprised that we agree. Am I secretly a Lulu too?

Sunlover 9 years, 4 months ago

ok, people dont get me wrong...I dont want the mall to have my kids to shop...I want a place to go WALKING...sorry I didn't clarify. We get cooped up in the house all winter, and we need EXERCISE...my kids are 1 and 3...so Sunfire Ceramics wont work. I need a place where they can walk around...the Riverfront Plaza would have been perfect. Googles of Fun is ok..but gets old. I'm not trying to sound hard to please...there's just not a lot of indoor places to go in this town...that's why a mall would be great for me...but I'm from KC...I knew it would piss off all you native Lawrence people. =)

beatrice 9 years, 4 months ago

I don't care much for zoos, so I think I will just comment on others' comments.

Sunlover: bundle the little ones up in winter and go to the parks. They will love it, and you don't have to fear the dreaded ticks.

Carm: Thanks for pointing out that Lulu isn't the voice of all liberals. Some of us like our roast cooked on the rare side.

omb: Build the IMAX, and show March of the Penguins.

ottr: "If you are "FOR IT" Aiko, get out your check book!" May I please ask you to do the same with the Iraq war?

bankboy119 9 years, 4 months ago

You're from KC and you moved to Lawrence? Did you become liberal too? haha sorry I'm just kidding. Why anyone would want to move to Lawrence if they weren't a tree hugging hippie involved in PETA and trying to destroy everything that once made this country great is beyond me.

Sunlover 9 years, 4 months ago

Ok, fair enough...I'll bundle up and quit griping! =) I just hate the cold...hense Sunlover.

hawkrew 9 years, 4 months ago

I am not sure anyone takes Lulu seriously anymore, but sometimes you just have to make a comment back...

Sunlover 9 years, 4 months ago

Bankboy--funny! No, moved here b/c my husband's family opened a restaurant. I do love Lawrence, even with it's free-willies.

jonas 9 years, 4 months ago

bankboy: Perhaps it's because, to some of us, the world doesn't totally revolve around liberal vs conservative dogma. This is a pretty interesting town, certainly much more so than Joco. or the rest of KC.

Topside 9 years, 4 months ago

I would love to get put up in a zoo. Free room and meals...awesome. As long as I get a natural habitat exhibit with a TV and an XBOX and some chick in brown shorts bringing me free food, I'll be first in line. I can't get the old lady to bring me food while she's wearing short-shorts so what have I got to lose?

beatrice 9 years, 4 months ago

TOB: "Much like Mikey Moore isn't the voice of Liberals, Lulu ain't either." Sorry to correct you, but Michael Moore actually is the voice for us liberals. We all have litte shrines in our homes to honor Moore's greatness. ; )

Richard Heckler 9 years, 4 months ago

Cincinnati, St.Louis, San Diego Wild Animal Park, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. also are pretty cool. A Friends of the Zoo annual membership allows admission to many zoos including Omaha. Tulsa has a very nice Living Museum at the zoo.

happyone 9 years, 4 months ago

Sunlover-- If you want to go walking in the winter when its cold with the little ones go to Wal-Mart. By the time it gets cold it will be huge and have lots of room to walk around plus the bonus of the Toy Dept.

enochville 9 years, 4 months ago

In lieu of a mall, senior citizens use the Target aisles to do their walking laps. Just show up around 7am and you'll see them.

Sunlover 9 years, 4 months ago

That's true. Thanks all for the tips!!

Sunlover 9 years, 4 months ago

Madagaskar is a cute movie about zoo animals breaking free

beatrice 9 years, 4 months ago

TOB: Rush-Robertson-Johnny Boy. Talk about your unholy trinity! Yikes

bankboy119 9 years, 4 months ago

jonas I'm sorry for stereotyping liberals. You're right there is more to life than just liberal and conservative. I as a conservative do not endorse everything the current government is doing and definitely agree that spending is entirely out of control.

As to the shrines....Commandment number 1 is "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."

jonas 9 years, 4 months ago

Bankboy:That's reassuring. For the record, I think most tree-hugging doe-eyed "naturist" types (the cultist sort, in contrast to true conservationists and environmental scientists) should be forced to spend a week in front of TV's ala Clockwork Orange watching wild animals mangle each other for breakfast (literally). But then, I just generally despise politicians, pundits and the other folk who think they can run my life better than I can. :)

(I think that's my first smiley ever. Seemed like a good occasion)

Back on topic (sort of) has anyone ever been to the San Diego zoo? Great place, and their polar bear exhibit is awesome. I could spend all day watching polar bears ham on about their lives.

Lulu 9 years, 4 months ago

I am a very serious individual in love with freedom. Why believe in labels? Labels bring oppression.

Ceallach 9 years, 4 months ago

jonas: I knew we would win you over sooner or later :):)

hawkrew 9 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

bankboy119 9 years, 4 months ago

If you're in love with freedom why support higher taxes and more government? Higher taxes take away your freedom of choice of where your dollar goes. More government control means less freedom for you to control yourself.

neopolss 9 years, 4 months ago

I really do miss the riverfront plaza. As an outlet mall it was doomed to fail, but as a legit mall it would have added to Lawrence's downtown. KC has shown that malls and hometown businesses CAN co-exist. That said, malls are a bit like a zoo. I can easily people watch all day, from obnoxious teens to fretting mothers - good stuff.

Here's some classic On the Street response: "You're gonna lose your war, your greedy christian war!"

More classics to come.

Aiko 9 years, 4 months ago

I am finally the 100th contestant!

italianprincess 9 years, 4 months ago

Topeka and KS Zoos are not to far to drive to. I would rather see an amusement type place here like I described yesterday I do believe.

I think a place for family fun would be good and I do agree about Googles........it does get old.

An indoor amusement family fun center would be good and wonderful in the winter. I think Lawrence would be a great place for one also.

Just my thoughts here.

I don't see acg here today. I wonder if shes in the hospital. I guess we shall see in a few days or so if Lawrence has a new little resident.

Linda Aikins 9 years, 4 months ago

hmm. Wonder what news is coming out of KU that caused the Provost to "quit."

Maybe they wanted to put the zoo on campus?

blackbird13 9 years, 4 months ago

I think it would be great, but to be honest, we'd probably go once or twice and that would be it.

Ceallach 9 years, 4 months ago

And I thought I was the only one with whom the Chancellor confided that information :(

Ceallach 9 years, 4 months ago

o_m_b: With so many big cheeses there's bound to be rats!

stargazer 9 years, 4 months ago

What is Googles, and where is it at?

My grandson is having a birthday next week, the big "3", and my son wants to go to Topeka Zoo for his birthday on Saturday.

Sounds like Topeka Zoo has change quite a bit, since we were there last.

And no we don't need a zoo in douglas co.

Sunlover 9 years, 4 months ago

OK, so no one wants a zoo....but how about a Chucky Cheese???

Sunlover 9 years, 4 months ago

Googles is next to the Hereford House, off 6th & Wakarusa. Might be ok for a b-day. If you're thinking the zoo, the KC zoo is MUCH better.

acg 9 years, 4 months ago

No, IP, no baby yet. :( I just haven't responded today because I despise zoos of all kinds and most people give me a hard time about it and I'm too weepy to get a hard time right now. LOL. Every time I've ever been to a zoo I see the looks in the faces of the poor animals and they all look like "well this is it. I sit here, in this tiny little "habitat" all day while stupid humans gawk, stare, point, laugh and their horrid little kids throw stuff at me". It seems a sad way to live. I understand all of the arguments about preserving the wildlife, etc., it still just makes me sad. So I say no to a zoo, any zoo, ever.

stargazer 9 years, 4 months ago

Thanks sunlover for the info.

e_m: another online abbreviation for 3 is <3> the red heart for "love". ha, ha. my favorite to use.

Linda Aikins 9 years, 4 months ago

In case you are thinking about googling it, I think it is spelled Googols.

How many googols are there in a gaggle?

bankboy119 9 years, 4 months ago

It's okay acg my wife hates zoos too.

Chuck E Cheese's is awesome! I remember when I was a kid back in the day...

Sunlover 9 years, 4 months ago

Well, I went to the KC zoo a few weeks ago and there was ONE lonely (and quite thin) white tiger. Kind of pathetic. The bad thing about that zoo, is all the traveling to get from place to place, and there's a $1 to ride the train, $1 to ride the bus, $1 to ride the boat...

Linda Aikins 9 years, 4 months ago

e_m - good 'uns!

I know about that gag gel.

hawkrew 9 years, 4 months ago

I remember when Chuck E. Cheese's was Showbiz Pizza...ahh the good old days.

Ceallach 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm confused. Do you want the animals to have lots of room to run, play, etc., in a more accommodating environment, but only if you don't have to walk much to go around their enclosures? Can you have it both ways? Just asking . . . .

sunflower_sue 9 years, 4 months ago

Sunlover, don't know if anyone has mentioned it (don't have time to read all the posts) but in many locations, you can pick up a "Kids calendar". They have lots of activites (usually free) that your little ones might enjoy. The Natural History Museum is a great place to go during colder weather and my kids still like to go even though they've been there a million times.

Linda Aikins 9 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

lovely1 9 years, 4 months ago

now that these lawrence folks know about the lonely white tiger, there will be a protest at the kc zoo! ;) jk. I saw the lone tiger.

beatrice 9 years, 4 months ago

e_m: Better ease up on the use of French, otherwise people are bound to label you as one of them over educated liberal types. (No reason to fear, though. They identify during the day, but usually do the actual labeling at night using tranquilizer dart guns. My label got attached behind my left ear years ago. I've gotten quite use to it by now.) bea

mermily 9 years, 4 months ago

no we should not. conditions at existing zoos should be improved and public transportation to those zoos provided with any extra "zoo intended funds". this seems wiser, more progressive, and more human. rather than removing no-human animals from their natural habitat or subjecting our children to the lesson that imprisoning non-human animals is ok

Ceallach 9 years, 4 months ago

e_m: Those are the times you blame it on the autotext feature -- that's what I do :)

beatrice 9 years, 4 months ago

I preferred "do me rev" and "do em rev" (do e_m Rev.), which I just read as a comment on abuse within the church.

beatrice 9 years, 4 months ago

Tom DeLay has been indicted and forced to step down as the House Majority Leader. Wow.

Linda Aikins 9 years, 4 months ago

Infamy. I think I need to sing the Star Spangled Banner. Yes, I know the words. E_M, thanks for remembering. Someone stormed the blog beach that day, I can tell you, and took lots of prisoners.

I think the theme song for Lawrence needs to be Roundabout by Yes.

Exotic dung. Needs to the name of a rock band. I love it.

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