NC Zoo may go private

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(NC Zoo photo by Tom Gillespie)

ASHEBORO, N.C. — North Carolina’s state-supported zoo is moving toward becoming a private entity and relying less on state money.

The News & Record of Greensboro reported the idea for the North Carolina Zoo near Asheboro to move toward a privately run operation has been under serious discussion for about a year.

Zoo director David Jones says the structure would give one of the state’s biggest tourist attractions more flexibility in maintenance and fundraising.

The nearly 40-year-old zoo houses about 1,100 animals on 2,700 acres.

The zoo last year had about 740,000 visitors and made bout $6.5 million, the most for any state-owned attraction. It also spent about $17 million, more than all the museums owned by the state’s Department of Cultural Resources combined.

Credit: The Associated Press.