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Reader's view: Keep the zoo and drop nature-center idea

A lifelong Duluth resident, I've been enjoying the Lake Superior Zoo since I was a small girl going there with my mother who knew both Bert Onsgard and Basil Norton. I knew all the animals written about in the Sept. 10 Local View commentary, "Tur...

A lifelong Duluth resident, I've been enjoying the Lake Superior Zoo since I was a small girl going there with my mother who knew both Bert Onsgard and Basil Norton. I knew all the animals written about in the Sept. 10 Local View commentary, "Turn our inferior zoo into a nature center." And I attended picnics at the pavilion with church groups. I probably have been going to our zoo since the 1950s.

Many of us remember the zoo during the 1960s and '70s, especially Thornton's Kiddieland and the famous steam-powered train that ran in Fairmont Park right next to the zoo. The concession stand building is no longer used but is still standing.

Upon retirement in November 2012 my goal was to volunteer at our zoo. I completed the training this spring. The barnyard is open to the public for guests to enter and meet the animals. Angolan colobus monkey babies were born in June and July. And the zoo has an educational Interpretive Wolf Cart. I have seen many people I know during my volunteer shifts. It is encouraging to me how many people come to the Lake Superior Zoo each day.

The flood was definitely hard on the Lake Superior Zoo. Money is sure an issue. Berlin, our polar bear, is at the zoo in Kansas City, Mo. Everyone is hoping for a cub come November or December.

The commentary suggested the grounds be used for a nature center. This Kingsbury Creek was merely a trickle of water. I commend the staff at the zoo for their care, interest and programs that help visitors learn more about the animals. Could the city of Duluth afford to maintain the plans stated in the commentary? I think not.

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In retirement I will speak up for my zoo and keep on serving as a volunteer.

Leona E. Krieg

Duluth

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