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Rural King

Lions, Tigers, and Bears O' My!

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I read a couple of days ago that Madison County was looking into establishing a zoo in the southern half of the county. Apparently there are already some folks who have several hundred exotic animals they care for in the area, and the county is looking at setting up the ground work to establish a facility and get the financial backing to in conjuction with the animals these folks have to start the process of establishing a zoo.

I thought this was an interesting tidbit of information. I think a zoo would be great for the county and city. So hopefully it will happen.

Jackson is starting to reach that tipping point where it really is going to start to get the amentities of a bigger city, which I find really cool. :D

edit: typo

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Yeah, that sounds nice. Obviously, Jackson can't build a "big" zoo, so maybe they can stress quality over size by making the zoo something unique in terms of exhibits and so on.

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I'd love to see them develop some kind of wildlife sanctuary or something. Something different from your "urban zoo." More immersive.

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Yeah, that sounds nice.  Obviously, Jackson can't build a "big" zoo, so maybe they can stress quality over size by making the zoo something unique in terms of exhibits and so on.

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Yeah, it definately won't be a large scale zoo, but hopefully Jackson/Madison County can develop a nice little well ran zoo/animal park that can be a local attraction for folks to take their kids to on the weekends without having to go all the way to Memphis. It definately would be an additional amenity for the citizens of Jackson (and West TN), plus a good marketing item for use in future endeavors.

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Well, there is some bad news. They said on the news that the zoo plan failed, because the people in the area didn't want to give up their property. However, there is still a possibility that it could be built at a different location.

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Well, there is some bad news. They said on the news that the zoo plan failed, because the people in the area didn't want to give up their property. However, there is still a possibility that it could be built at a different location.

Welcome to the forum! That is bad news, and I do hope that they find a way to do this. I definitely think Jackson could support a zoo, and that it would be a nice addition to the city.

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Well, I'm too lazy to check out the Jackson media myself, but when RuralKing checks in, I imagine he can fill us in on the lowdown about the zoo and the property.

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Welcome to the forum! That is bad news, and I do hope that they find a way to do this. I definitely think Jackson could support a zoo, and that it would be a nice addition to the city.

Yes, it sure would be better than having to drive to MEM and pay $19/person to get in. I think that's a bit on the outrageous side, don't you think?

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The Madison County Conservation Board voted in down 3-1 (1 absent) Tuesday night. Citing opposition from neighbors to the proposed site in the Chiggar Ridge Natural Area the board decided the location was not suitable. The couple, the Davies, who have over 200 animals, are going to look for a new site.

Several board members were favorable to a zoo in Madison County and had received phone calls in support of the plan, but thought it would disturb the tranquility of Chiggar Ridge too much to be acceptable. One stated he hoped the Davies would be able to keep there proposal in Madison County

I don't know where this plan will go now. Plenty of land in Madison County still available, so it may just be a matter of getting a location secured. On the other hand, the Davies may look elsewhere in West Tennessee to try to get there zoo proposal accomplished.

@ Kyle - Hey where you from? Do I have a fellow non-Memphis forumer in West Tennessee?

Oh as for the price of the Memphis Zoo. Its steep (13 dollars last time I was there for an adult), but Memphis has one of the better zoos around for a city its size, and most importantly it has the pandas, something I think 3 other other zoos have. Just the cost of having something nice I suppose. The next best zoo IMO around is St. Louis, and of course its alot bigger, but also free.

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The zoos in the US that have Pandas are National Zoo in Washington DC which just had a cub, Atlanta, San Diego, and Memphis. Mexico City also has pandas. I don't know how much the Atlanta zoo is, but it was something like $28.00 when I went to the San Diego zoo this year and the lines were so bad for the pandas that I didn't even want to attempt it. I can see pandas in DC anything that I like. DC is free, since it is part of the Smithsonian. For all of you that think that zoos are expensive, think about how much it costs to feed all of those animals. I am surprised that the St Louis zoo has been able to remain free. I would wonder how much it costs for a city that is as cash straped as St Louis is to carry the entire load. They most how a number of the major companies there give some very large financial support. Of course Ralston could always give them the feed.

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The Memphis Zoo is $13 per adult and $3 for parking. Until recently, the $3 for the panda exhibit were separate and optional, so the regular admission was $10. At one time they had a great deal for Tennessee residents one day a week, but I don't know if that is still the case. But, it is one of the better zoos in the South, and perhaps, the country.

The St. Louis Zoo is free, but it costs $9 dollars to park and some attractions cost between $2-$4 each. The Atlanta Zoo, which is comparable to the Memphis Zoo and also has pandas, is $17 per person. And some other area zoos are close in costs: Nashville ($11 during peak months and $8 in off-season), Birmingham ($11), and Knoxville ($12.95). So, the Memphis Zoo really isn't that costly considering the quality and the market rate.

As for a zoo in Jackson, I'm not sure it can support one, but I think it would be great if it gets one and can support it. I'm not aware of any of the smaller cities in TN having a zoo--I know the Big 4 do, but as for Clarksville and the Tri-Cities, I don't know. Both those areas are larger than Jackson too. Clarksville is close to Nashville, but only about 20 miles closer to Nashville than Jackson is to Memphis. I also don't think Huntsville, AL has a zoo, which is larger than Jackson but close to Birmingham like Jackson is to Memphis.

So, it will likely be a challenge for Jackson to support one, but I hope they can. It would be a great boost for the city and the region. As for looking to another town in West TN, where could they go? Dyersburg? Paris? or a town close to Jackson like Humbolt, Lexington, or Milan? None of those sound like reasonable alternatives for someone who wants a zoo to succeed.

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^ There are several towns/counties who might try it.

I can't see any of the other towns/counties in West Tennessee doing as well as Jackson/Madison County, thats not to say none of them would not go for the proposal if they thought they could make it work.

Paris stands out in my mind due to Kentucky Lake and its tourism, but its location in the NE corner of West Tennessee plays against it for the region supporting it IMO. Thats kind of the same thing for Dyersburg -the 3rd largest city in West Tennessee-, which perhaps could do it, but its location isn't the greatest for drawing from the region either. Humboldt might be best alt. spot outside of Madison Co. since its so close to Jackson (on the Madison/Gibson Co. line) and centrally located in the region, but since there is plenty of land between there and Jackson it would seem silly that Madison Co. couldn't find them a suitable site.

The best solution IMO is for Madison County to help them find a site in the county. The location of Jackson, its growth rate, location, regioanl pull, etc, IMO would allow it to support a small modest zoo. Its not going to be anything huge, so I think it would be a great project and a good feather to go in the cap of the city/county.

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