SANTA ANA : Zoo Seeks Advice of Outside Consultant

Officials of the Santa Ana Zoo are seeking some outside advice as they look for ways to improve the 38-year-old facility.

The Santa Ana City Council last week accepted a grant of $1,400 from the Institute of Museum Services, a federal agency based in Washington. The money will be used to hire a consultant for the zoo who will review programs and provide some advice on long-range planning and in other areas, said zoo director Claudia Collier.

"We heard about this program, and we thought it would be good to have someone from the outside take a look at our operation and let us know where we can improve," Collier said.

Earlier this year, the zoo, in the heart of Orange County at Prentice Park, added to its displays two bald eagles, which Collier said have been a popular attraction. There are also plans to build "Monkey Island," an 18,000-square-foot open-air exhibit that will feature the colobus monkey. Officials hope to break ground on the project by the end of the year.

About 225,000 people visit the zoo each year. Collier said attendance is up 9% from last year.

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