Effective immediately, the Delbridge Museum of Natural History, which has been housed at the Great Plains Zoo for 40 years, is closed.

Zoo officials cite the master planning which includes the merging of the Great Plains Zoo and the Butterfly House & Aquarium into one campus as one of the reasons for the closure.

They also mention the strong chemicals originally used when the collection of animals was taxidermied. As the collection of animals continues to age there is "more potential for chemical exposure", and the zoo is "proactively protecting" visitors and their staff from this potential issue.

The Sioux Falls City Council must approve the disposition of the collection and then the Great Plains Zoo (GPZ) and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will work together to safely remove the taxidermied animals. And this process can take several months.

The final statement from the GPZ news release was this:

GPZ and the City are committed to ensuring the zoo is a safe, educational destination for discovery and family fun. Master planning is underway, and GPZ plans to share the vision for the next chapter in the near future - including a state-of-the-art aquarium experience. - Denis DePaolo

For more information see the Great Plains Zoo or call 605-367-7003.

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