Minot zoo kicks off $5 million campaign for new cat habitats

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MINOT, N.D. -- Minot's Roosevelt Park Zoo officials wants the community to help reach the $5 million goal to finance a three-phase project for new lion, tiger and leopard habitats.

On Wednesday, Roosevelt Park zoo director Becky Dewitz,  Minot Parks executive director Ron Merritt  and vice president of the Minot Zoo Crew and chairman of the Centennial Capital Campaign Jennifer Shirley announced the launch of the community's part in the campaign.

It is the first large-scale capital campaign leading up to the zoo's centennial year in 2021. Slightly more than $2.5 million has already been raised. A $1 million grant from the Minot Community Facilities Fund, $1 million from the Minot Zoo Crew and a $500,000 grant from the Minot Area Community Foundation provided a start for the total cost.

"We're asking for our community to come together and help us to get these exhibits – these major renovations we're talking about at the zoo," said Merritt. He said the Minot Park District is behind the project 100 percent. "Roosevelt Park Zoo is a gem in our community and we're very proud of it," he said.

Dewitz said the new projects will provide the animals with larger and more natural habitat.