UPDATE: $3M Bequest to Pay for New Animals at Wis. zoo

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

UPDATE: Tues 2:09 PM, Oct. 22, 2013

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (AP) -- The Chippewa Falls Park Board has been named the beneficiary of a $3 million trust fund, which officials hope to use to build new zoo buildings and acquire new animals.

An Eau Claire Leader-Telegram report says the Park Board is considering a $2.3 million project at the Irvine Park Zoo. The project involves expanding certain enclosures, which would give the animals more room and also allow them to be viewed in winter months.

The money comes from the Gerald O. Thorpe and Evelyn M. Thorpe Foundation. Family attorney B. James Colbert told the Park Board on Monday the late couple's estates aren't settled, but the final amount should be in the $3 million range.

The foundation will provide the board about $150,000 per year.

UPDATE: Thurs 9:28 AM, Oct. 17, 2013

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (AP) -- A virus at a local zoo in western Wisconsin continues to decimate the bison herd.

The Irvine Park Zoo has lost two additional bison, bringing the total to four deaths since last month. The zoo has five remaining bison.

Veterinarians say the bison contracted a virus from sheep that shared a fence line with the animals.

WQOW-TV says Chippewa Falls parks director, Dick Hebert, is asking the public to avoid the bison exhibit for now.

ORIGINAL STORY: Wed 9:12 AM, Sept. 12, 2013

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (AP) -- The bison herd at a Chippewa Falls Zoo is being monitored closely after the deaths of two bison.

Chippewa Falls parks director Dick Hebert says tissue samples have been sent to a lab for evaluation on a possible cause of death. Officials say both bison were about 5 years old. One died Saturday and the other on Friday.

The Chippewa Herald says Irvine Park Zoo staff have moved the rest of the herd to another location. The six remaining bison have been given antibiotics.

Hebert says one of the six is showing signs of distress.

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