TenHaken administration, Sioux Falls zoo signal openness to preserving animal collection
Councilors say they want alternatives before disposing of 170 taxidermy mounts that tested positive for arsenic
A 170-specimen collection of taxidermy mounts at the Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum might not be disposed of after all.
Officials at City Hall and zoo leadership during a briefing to Sioux Falls City Councilors Tuesday indicated they are open to preserving and relocating at least a portion of the collection of animals that had been on display at the natural history museum. It was abruptly closed last month after the zoo announced some of the specimens tested positive for arsenic.
While the zoo and the mayor’s office continue to call for the collection to be declared surplus ahead of a vote later this month, the city no longer intends to dispose of the entire collection should City Councilors have other intentions, Sioux Falls Parks Director Don Kearney said.
“I do want to point out and make it clear that declaring surplus does not mean disposal or transfer, etc.,” he said, adding that the city and zoo have discussed the potential of retaining specimens that are arsenic-free and in excellent condition. “The giant panda could be part of that diorama to be able to recognize the history that went into that.”
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