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Planned Tucson zoo expansion into park stirs controversy

Virus Outbreak Arizona
Posted at 9:40 AM, Mar 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-06 11:40:51-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — Tucson’s mayor is calling for a pause to a long-planned multimillion-dollar expansion of the Reid Park Zoo due to controversy over how park space would be lost to accommodate new zoo facilities.

Tucson voters approved funding for the project in 2017 and construction is poised to start this spring, but Mayor Regina Romero said it should be paused because there hasn’t been a resolution of residents’ concerns.

Romero said the two main issues are the anticipated loss of a “cherished area” within the park and whether project supporters were transparent about the planned zoo improvements and expansion before city voters approved a sales tax increase for the project in 2017.