Take the Oregon Zoo Private

Dallas, Texas city councilors voted unanimously Aug. 12 to turn the operations of that city’s zoo over to the private Dallas Zoological Society. The transition will take place Oct. 1. Dallas Morning News reporter Rudolph Bush states, the move “is expected to save the city [read taxpayers] some $1.5 million this year and tens of millions in coming years.” Allen Nyhuis, coauthor of America’s Best Zoos, notes, “Privatization has worked very well at zoos in Phoenix, Indianapolis, and others. The Dallas Zoo should only get better now.” The councilors at Metro, the regional government that “owns” the Oregon Zoo, might consider putting the privatization issue on their agenda. After all, running a zoo is not a core, nor proper, function of government.