Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Bill would allow zoos to breed big cats

Andy Fitzpatrick, Battle Creek Enquirer

If one Michigan lawmaker is successful, large carnivores will be able to breed at Michigan zoos.

Republican Sen. Rick Jones of Grand Ledge announced he plans to introduce a bill allowing breeding programs for carnivores to begin at five Michigan zoos, including Battle Creek's Binder Park Zoo, according to a Tuesday news release.

The release said such breeding was made illegal in the state because of the inhumane conditions created at exhibits found at roadside attractions. Binder Park and the other zoos mentioned in the bill — Detroit Zoo, Lansing's Potter Park Zoo, Grand Rapids' John Ball Zoo and Saginaw's Children's Zoo at Celebration Square — are members of the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Other groups would be allowed to breed the animals if they comply with safety, animal welfare and conservation mandates in the bill.

Animals outlined in the legislation include lions, cheetahs, tigers, jaguars, leopards and bears.

Binder Park Zoo has long had a cheetah exhibit, and opened a black bear exhibit in 2014. The zoo is planning on building an African lion habitat in 2016 after fundraising is complete.

For more on Binder Park Zoo programs, go to or call 979-1351. For more on the pending legislation, go to


No comments: