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Wright Park Zoo Closing; Redo the Zoo Plan Anticipated

Judd Weil-News Director


The City of Dodge City announced in a Sept. 15 press release, the Wright Park Zoo will be closing to the public until further notice, starting Sunday, Sept. 18 at 5 p.m.

The City of Dodge discussed the closure of Wright Park Zoo during a City Work Session on Sept. 6.

Following that, Assistant City Manager and Public Affairs Melissa McCoy and Director of Parks and Facilities Daniel Cecil, elaborated what is happen with Wright Park Zoo in a radio interview on Sept. 9.

Zoo staff is currently working to find temporary and sanctuary homes that will provide nurturing and safe facilities for the animals.

“Shakira, our Siberian tiger, is one of the animals that will be permanently rehomed later in September to the Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary,” said the City of Dodge City in the release.

Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary (The Scott Foundation) is a Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) Verified 501(c)3 nonprofit big cat rescue and educational facility. A true sanctuary, they do not buy, sell, breed or trade any of their animals.

The City Commission will be considering the future direction of the Wright Park Zoo as part of the 2023 budget planning process.

The City of Dodge City stated the budget will be approved at a special meeting on Monday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m.

The City of Dodge City was originally ready to kick off the “Redo the Zoo” Masterplan just prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in a lengthy set back.

The anticipated cost for the multi-phase project was $4.4 million of which the City Commission originally considered committing $2 million.

Currently, staff is evaluating options for the plan and working to secure public and private partnerships to assist with funding or in-kind donations for the project.

The Wright Park Zoo Master Plan can be viewed at

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