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New Consultant to Review Options for Niabi Zoo

Niabi Zoo

  The Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission is taking a second look at options for the Niabi Zoo. Last month, the Zoological Society released a feasibility study, reporting potential donors will support the zoo if its management changes. Now, the Forest Preserve is double checking those findings. 


The Niabi Zoological Society is a private organization that raises money for the zoo in Coal Valley. It hired a consultant to study the feasibility of raising up to 8-million-dollars to expand and improve the zoo. 

The study concluded Niabi should be managed by a private non-profit, instead of Rock Island County and its forest preserve commission, to attract more donors. Forest Preserve District Director, Jeff Craver, says the commission is bringing in a second firm to review the study. 
Last year, Schultz and Williams studied the zoo, and recommended it spend about 9-million-dollars to improve its exhibits. 

A special meeting of the forest preserve commission will be held on October 7th, to discuss the new study. 

Zoological Society President, John Ferrell, and Forest Preserve President, Steve Ballard, have so far been unavailable for comment.