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Adelaide Zoo $25 million in debt and facing asset repossession
The popularity of pandas Wang Wang and Funi has not been sufficient to offset rising operating costs at Adelaide Zoo, which has revealed debts of $25 million.
South Australian Environment Department Chief Executive Allan Holmes, revealed to a South Australian Parliamentary committee yesterday that the Government had advanced a further $500,000 to Zoos South Australia this week to ease its financial woes. The funding takes the South Australian Government's support for the Zoo to over $3 million.
Holmes told the Committee that assets could be seized if the zoological society defaults on bank loans adding that the State Government has not guaranteed the Zoo's loans and assets could be repossessed if the debt is not paid.
Holmes explained "I think it's fair to say some of the assets of the zoo would be at risk, bearing in mind that the land on which the substantial assets on which the zoo sits is Crown land is not at risk."
The Parliamentary Committee also heard that two Government appointees to the Zoo's board have resigned due to a conflict of interest, with the former board nominees now on a working group that is aiming to address the zoo's problems with a new business plan.
A recent suggestion that the Zoo be renamed was not pursued, amid negative public reaction to the idea.
The South Australian Government said recently that getting Wang Wang and Funi from China had failed to help Adelaide Zoo attract the sponsorship dollars and visitors needed to cover its rising operating costs.
Zoos South Australia is a non-profit conservation charity which operates Adelaide Zoo, Monarto open range zoo and Warrawong Sanctuary in the Adelaide Hills.
23rd June 2011 - ADELAIDE ZOO RACKS UP $24 MILLION DEBT
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