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Clock ticking on upgrades, fixes at Tampa zoo

Clock ticking on upgrades, fixes at Tampa zoo

TAMPA, Fla. (TBO.com) — If things had gone as planned, Lowry Park Zoo would have a new veterinary hospital and feeding center up and running by now.

But more than a year past the original deadline of October 2012, the new features remain unbuilt. And the clock is ticking.

In early 2015, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums will return to review Lowry Park’s fitness. It’s not clear what might happen if the new features aren’t operational by then, said Steve Feldman, spokesman for the association.

“This would be a factor in the accreditation review,” Feldman said. “Significant progress is always taken into account.”

Hoping to jump-start construction, zoo officials have asked the Tampa City Council to help them borrow up to $6.5 million to get the work going. The city owns the zoo, which is operated by a private foundation. Council members will take up the request when they meet Jan. 9.

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