Wednesday, September 18, 2019

WLBT: Zoo Management Company Doesn't Have Required USDA License

WLBT reported last night that the company awarded the bid to operate the Jackson Zoo does not have a required USDA Class C license:




The City Council has not approved a contract to hire Zooceanarium nor has the Lumumba administration submitted a contract. 

Zooceanarium a Missouri LLC.  However, the Missouri Secretary of State's website does not state who the owners or members of the LLC are.  It only states a registered agent for the company. 

However, that is not the only zoo news.   The Jackson City Council voted 5-2 last night in executive session to authorize a lawsuit against the Jackson Zoological Society for water bill claims.  The item was not on the agenda. City Attorney Tim Howard suddenly urged the Council to enter into executive session to discuss litigation.  Council President Virgi Lindsey announced the approval and said the vote was 5-2.  Lindsey, Stokes, Foote, Banks,  and Tillman voted to authorize the lawsuit.

The attendance for the zoo from October 1, 2018 to September 9, 2019 is 45,897.  The attendance was 73,000 last year and 101,000 two years ago.  


Kingfish note: Disclaimer: yours truly is on the Board of Directors for the Jackson Zoological Society. 

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

The zoo and the convention center need to be given to the state or put out of their misery.

Anonymous said...

So sue to get them to donate the animals. Wow.
How can accept a bid with no license.

Follow the money.

Anonymous said...

Had the city council even looked at this website, they would have noticed how many posters were easily shooting down "Zoooceanarium"'s validity as an actual zoo management firm. Amazing what a powerpoint presentation will do...

Anonymous said...

Didn't Virgi Lindsey used to serve on the Board of the Jackson Zoo? Why the hell was she even debating, much less voting, on a resolution to sue them? And wouldn't some of the subject matter of the putative suit have happened when she was on the board? Cc: Tom Hood. Find those animals a good home, and let the City do whatever they want with the land. Maybe Antar could use it to establish a collective farm to free the land and bring economic opportunity to that prosperous part of Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Jackson would be wise to engage bankruptcy counsel.

Anonymous said...

KF was this even brought up to the Board for recievership (if that's even the right word)?

Anonymous said...

Shut off water to the zoo-

Change the Flag and Fill the Potholes said...

Kingfish - Thank you for your service to Zoo BOD and reports on operations. We used to love taking our kids there. People in the community need to contribute more and complain less.

Anonymous said...

Realistically, how exactly does the State or Fed take over a city? Not that they want to even try.

One of the Back To The Future movies had scenes of a time when every damn thing was just in shambles. I remember thinking how far fetched that was. We are not far from that right now. This is so far out of hand, recovery isn't possible in our lifetime. EMBARRASSING.

Anonymous said...

Yep, back when you first announced the bids on here this group was a sham. But, they probably greased the right palms. Just like the natatorium Gene McGee wants in Ridgeland, fancy presentations don't override facts and figures or reputations of those behind it.

Anonymous said...

So many fond childhood memories of the Jackson Zoo and Metro Center and so many other places in Jackson.

Unfortunately it would be irresponsible to take children into the City of Jackson and risk their lives for a substandard experience when it is safer to just travel to a better city for a higher quality experience.

Anonymous said...

Dear Legislature, it’s time to authorize Chapter 9 filings.

Anonymous said...

The zoo should be a tri County operation and moved to somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I understand this: the city is close to selecting an unqualified contractor to operate a zoo where neither of them owns the animals?

Anonymous said...

the zoo should be abandoned entirely.

the place should be razed.


the state should authorize the entire area a tax free zone for commercial industry to develop and use the airport and other facilities available to bring jobs and growth to the area.

Anonymous said...

Please shut that joke down, then do the right thing and get those poor animals out of their. Their situation has to be deteriorating.

Anonymous said...

The only problem with the zoo is the zoo surrounding the zoo.

Anonymous said...

If a CEO of any public company brought a contract to engage a contractor without credentials to the board of directors...guess what? That CEO would instantly lose credibility and his/her ability to run that business. AND his/her tenture would be short-lived. I guess it is different in government.

Thanks, KF for your service trying to kee our zoo afloat. But, now it is time to think of the animals (the ones insidde the walls of the zoo) and relocate them to facilities that have the resources to properly care for them. The Jackson Zoo is doomed and the animals shouldn't hve to suffer the consequences of a bankrupt city and the fools that run it. And I have lost all respect for Virgi Lindsey.

Anonymous said...

1:51, the entire government structure should be Metro or 3 country. Propose that and watch the entire civil rights movement go into gear.

Anonymous said...

I don’t think any other counties want to be associated with Hinds County.

Anonymous said...

The Zoo must be moved out of Jackson! or shut the damn thing down. I saw footage on the news of the overgrown animal pens and what look like horrible conditions for these animals to live in. Who wants to go look at tall grass!!!! I mean does anyone in Jackson give a damn about mowing?!?!

Anonymous said...

Its a "regional asset". Get Harkins to write a bill to take it. And fund it properly.

Wait, his developer buddies can't make any money down there near Ellis and Capitol.

Anonymous said...

To my knowledge...Virgi Lindsey has never had a REAL job....always on this board or thst board
..

Kingfish said...

She was a reporter at the Clarion-Ledger and later worked for JPS.

Anonymous said...

What a sad situation.

Anonymous said...

I just want to know what the grass not being cut has to do with Jackson?

Anonymous said...

As a member of the Board of Directors for the Jackson Zoo, are you not the least bit embarrassed about entering into an arrangement with a non-licensed entity? Disclaimers aside, of course.

Will the Board be traveling soon to Africa to check out similar venues? I can just imagine the tag-alongs on that trip. Suddenly I'm thinking about the Airport Board.

Anonymous said...

Virgie Lindsey's jobs are similar in depth and substance to those of Nic Lott. Board this and Board that and appointment this and that and liaison to and non profit this and that. In other words...zero. Oh, but she worked for the Clarion Ledger which still amounts to zero.

Anonymous said...

The Jackson Zoo should recruit the services of ZooBQ.com to come to town and throw one of their delicious Feast on the Beast fund raisers.


www.zoobq.com

Anonymous said...

4:08,

You must be joking! That website you posted must be fake! They promote EATING THE ZOO ANIMALS!

Anonymous said...

It will not get better anytime soon.

For the sake of the animals, please get those innocent creatures out there ASAP.

Perhaps one day Jackson can again have a decent Zoo.

Now is not that time.

Anonymous said...

All these "Libertarians" that claim to live here but always want the government to fix problems... Hmm... Interesting.

Anonymous said...

All of Lumumba's boasts over a year ago alluding that some skilled zoo operators from around the country had reached out to him expressing an interest in bidding on the next zoo contract were complete and absolute BS.

Then you had one of his photo-op press conferences with all these cultists standing dutifully behind him where he preens as a higher level intellectual -- including quoting lines from Black Panther the movie. He ruffled up his chest feathers and shared how he was going to come up with this grandiose long term plan revitalize the zoo and West Jackson at the same time. Yada, yada, yada. We've heard it all soooo many times before from Mayor Blowhard. Well, what progress has he made on any of that in the past 15 months? I'll answer the question for you. NONE, NOTHING, NADA, ZILCH.

Antar Lumumba is a rank amateur.

Anonymous said...

Close the Zoo, liquidate the assets, raze it, build new stadium for JSU and turn Veteran Stadium over go UMMC. Problems solved.

Anonymous said...

Just checked, the Society's license is good until March 2020. Looks like the City overplayed their hand, trying to use this water suit to compel the handover of the animals. They didn't do due diligence in recognizing that w/ the Society out of the picture there'll be a licensing gap if it's true that ZoOceanarium is struggling to get one. (Also, I double checked - their yet to be opened facility in St. Louis isn't licensed as of August 1st.)

Also, to all the folks complaining about how the animals are being poorly treated because there's a little bit of tall grass, give me a break. There's not many people out in the wild cutting grass for the bears, tigers, and rhinos.

Anonymous said...

10:06, serious question - how often is Veteran's Memorial Stadium actually used, and what is the average attendance? Jackson needs to put some serious thought into consolidating and repurposing some of its assets instead of propping up the failing ones. A zoo is a luxury and an unnecessary extravagant expense for a city that's in the condition Jackson finds itself, let's be honest - Jackson is not the city it once was and it's time to make some hard decisions and actually lead for a change Choke-way!

Kingfish said...

Yes, that list is from August 1. However, I called USDA last week and was told there was no Class C license.

Z is opening the St. Louis Aquarium in December. It looks to be really nice, btw. Z is going to have the license, just a question of when.

Anonymous said...

That ZooBQ website is twisted man. See http://www.zoobq.com/zoo-fundraiser.shtml

It says in part,

"During the day, families can interact with eColi free animal exhibits and participate in daily zoo life like mucking stalls, delousing, and feeding the reptiles. Our top draw for kids and adults of all ages is our trade marked Circle of Life™ interactive exhibit where families can witness first hand the life and death struggles of animals in the wild as small mammals are placed in lion, tiger and crocodile pens at feeding time!

With the coming of night the kids clear out and the party hats come out! Local musical entertainment is brought in to entertain while the adults revel in a special menu designed by PETSorFOOD™ and ZOOBQ™ executive chef Diego Chen. Sample everything from succulent Koala liver pate paired with a light sparkling grenache or bite size skewers of rare parrot breast paired with rich California merlot!"

Anonymous said...

@10:03

You hillbillies haven't lived until you have sampled a succulent koala liver pate paired with a sparkling grenache!

Anonymous said...

The zoo needs to close and the animals rehoused at an actual AZA accredited zoo not some hillbilly redneck backyard zoo safari.

Cynical Sam said...

@7:59 AM - How about move the animals from the zoo to the Veteran's stadium. Then let the hard core criminals out of jail and turn them loose with the animals.

The city could charge $250/spectator and make a fortune that could be used to fix the road and water infrastructure.

As a side benefit the jail population would be significantly reduced, and the local morticians could also cash in.

Win!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Again let's sue everyone to get what we want and to cover up city mismanagement and nonexistent leadership. The democracks MO is to deflect and put blame elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

This just makes me Cry. So Many good memories at the Jackson Zoo over the years. But yes things change and attractions have to change with the times. Its apparent this one has lost money for years despite a lot of contributions of time and money from many people.

Maybe the move to Lakeland I-55 would have been a failure. Maybe like its been said nobody wants to go zoos anymore. Sometimes we just have to face reality. I miss the doubleheaders at Memorial stadium and I miss the old farmers market and now we will miss Batte Furniture. At least we have our memories

Anonymous said...

The City says that it owns the animals per its lease and management agreement with the JZA. Yet the fourth paragraph of the agreement (available online), provides that the City agreed to lease only its personalty to the JZA as it existed at the time of the agreement -- i.e., all "animals of any nature presently located at the Zoo [...] specifically described as Exhibit A." The agreement was signed on April 12, 2007 ... and Exhibit A was conspicuously omitted from the lawsuit that the City filed against the JZA last week. Unless the City can specifically identify the animals it owned on April 12, 2007 which then lived at the Zoo or were on loan, then it will be difficult for a court to find a legal basis to interfere with the JZA's present-day abilities to take lawful actions with regard to any animals in the collection which were not owned by the City as of April 12, 2007. This squares with the eighth paragraph in the agreement, which grants the JZA the "sole and exclusive right and authority" to "sell, lease, trade, and otherwise deal in and with animals" without any limitations whatsoever -- zip, zero, nada. The only limitation is found in the twenty-second paragraph of the agreement, which provides that "in the event the JZA ceases to manage or operate the Zoo," the JZA will transfer the property (including the animals) identified in "Paragraph five (5) above" (i.e., the animals identified on the missing Exhibit A) back to the City. Under paragraph 20 of the agreement, the JZA is obligated to operate and manage the Zoo in compliance with USDA rules and "AZA regulations" (regardless of whether the Zoo is accredited by the AZA) and "ethical guidelines" and "any other applicable state and federal statutes and regulations." I wonder whether a document presently exists that would show that Zooceanarium has agreed -- or that it has the ability -- to meet these standards for the benefit, protection, and welfare of the animals ...? Maybe the City's attorneys should have read the agreement a little more closely, and given some thought to some of these things, before they filed the lawsuit. (The omission of Exhibit A from the complaint certainly suggests that the City's lawyers are more interested in grandstanding than they are with discharging their duties as officers of the court and complying with Rule 10(d) of the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure, which requires that "when any claim [...] is founded on an account or other written instrument, a copy thereof should be attached to or filed with the pleading unless sufficient justification for its omission is stated in the pleading.") With regard to the outstanding water bills, the fourteenth paragraph of the agreement carries with it an implied covenant that the City would do its part to "improve, repair and extend water distribution facilities for internal use." Why would the City specifically include this provision unless it recognized and intended to address the variety of known (and unknown) problems caused over the years by the tremendous water leaks within the Zoo's infrastructure -- which the City owned and agreed to (but did not) maintain ...? Government officials who live in glass houses, etc. And, not for nothing, but the JZA's board members weren't and aren't government employees or actors, nor were or are they individuals who owed any fiduciary duties to the City. So they can't be sued and held liable to the City "individually" or "in their official capacities" for the payment of water bills (or for anything else, for that matter). I wonder if the City's attorneys properly advised the City Council about these things before it considered its decision to sue the JZA's board? I wonder if a judge would view the City's lawsuit as constituting a sham pleading which was improperly filed to harass the JZA's all-volunteer, unpaid, City-appointed board? Jes' sayin.'

Anonymous said...

The city hired a new water management firm, which they know sucked and even in turmoil with them yet they approved to spend money on litigation about a water bill with the zoo??? Knowing the financial duress the zoo is in? The city owns the land the zoo occupies, do they own the zoo itself? I searched online but couldnt find an answer. The city seems to be notorious and spending money that doesnt need to be spent.

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