Bramble Park Zoo looking at accreditation plan

WATERTOWN, S.D. (KXLG) – Bramble Park Zoo Director, Dan Miller, and Park and Rec Director Terry Kelly addressed the City Council to discuss the Bramble Park Zoo accreditation. The accreditation has received a lot of attention recently after an Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) report noted deficiencies in some areas. The deficiencies could cost the zoo their accreditation if they are not fixed.

A shortage of personnel and a quarantine building for animals that are sick and need to be segregated are two of the main issues addressed in the report. Miller said that the AZA inspectors would be back in June, and it’s important to them to be able to see that Watertown has a plan in place to move forward with correcting those issues, or they will face the loss of accreditation.

The estimated building cost for a quarantine building is $1.5 million, and that is money the city doesn’t have in its budget. The next best option, according to Terry Kelly, is a $63,000 engineering plan, which led to a question from Councilman Adam Lalim to Dan Miller.

Mayor Sara Caron says she knows that the AZA wants to see a plan.

The council will be revisiting this issue during an upcoming meeting.