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Re: 'The good fight goes on' at Cherry Brook Zoo

In response to an article published on July 18, 2011, in the Telegraph Journal.

To the Editor:

As the General Manager of the Magnetic Hill Zoo in Moncton, I support the ongoing efforts of Len and Lynda Collrin at the Cherry Brook Zoo.  I have utmost respect for the Collrins, and do not envy the task that they face on a daily basis.

However, I am compelled to clarify one point regarding the City of Moncton’s financial support of the Magnetic Hill Zoo. In fact, the Zoo offsets the municipality’s subsidy with revenues well over a million dollars annually. Those revenues are generated from admissions, pony rides, restaurants, gift shop, feed sales and face painting.

In addition, we are very fortunate to be in the largest tourist attraction area of the province and the revenue generated by the businesses surrounding Magnetic Hill in the form of taxes, gas sales, food sales, room nights, shopping and tourism jobs help the overall economy of the city.

It is a complicated and substantial responsibility to run a modern-day zoo with sufficient funding, but to do the job effectively is extremely challenging when that funding is not available.

It is a great asset for any city to have an accredited zoo; if properly funded, it can not only generate a positive revenue stream, but also become a great place for developing learning opportunities and building a sense of community.

Bruce Dougan
GM, Magnetic Hill Zoo