Lake Superior Zoo’s New CEO Eliminates 12 Positions

DULUTH, Minn. — Twelve positions at the cash-strapped Lake Superior Zoo were eliminated Monday.

It’s the first big restructuring move that the zoo’s CEO, Erik Simonson, has made since taking the job four weeks ago.

Simonson told FOX 21 the cuts will not affect the health and safety of any animals or the experience for visitors.

The eliminated positions include one full-time zookeeper, two full-time marketing positions and the rest in custodial and maintenance roles.

Simonson knows the cuts are not easy, but he believes they are vital in the process to get the zoo more financially stable for the city of Duluth.

This comes after Simonson recently asked the council and received $200,000 from the city’s tourism tax dollars to keep the zoo from closing in 2017.

Meanwhile, Simonson will release a 2018 capital campaign next month to work to convert the old Polar Shores exhibit into a new bear exhibit.

Simonson says the new exhibit is just one way to help draw more visitors and revenue to the zoo.

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