Council Panel OKs Proposal to Create Zoo Department

A special Los Angeles City Council committee overseeing efforts to improve the city's embattled zoo gave its approval Monday to a series of recommendations outlined last week in a special task force report.

The Ad Hoc Committee on Zoo Improvement unanimously adopted the recommendations, sending them to the full City Council, which is expected to take them up next week.

The two city agencies that prepared the report--the chief legislative analyst and the chief administrative offices--recommended taking the zoo away from the Recreation and Parks Department and creating a new city department that could give the zoo its full attention. Problems in running the zoo have resulted in substandard habitats and sanitation, inadequate funding and dwindling attendance, the report found.

The zoo also faces the loss of accreditation if it does not fix the dozens of noted deficiencies by next summer.

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