County ends partnership with zoological society

Citing concern over cash reserves, Dane County will end its partnership with the Henry Vilas Park Zoological Society, according to a report in the Wisconsin State Journal.

County officials say the nonprofit organization’s cash reserves, now more than $6 million, have gotten too large and too far removed from zoo operations, including funds that county zoo staff cannot access.

But Tom Hanson, chairman of the zoological society’s board, notes that during its partnership with Dane County, the society has invested millions of dollars in the admission-free zoo, including nationally recognized attractions.

The society has handled zoo operations since the 1980s.