Jackson Zoo Director Beth Poff placed on administrative leave

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Beth Poff, Executive Director of the Jackson Zoo, has been placed on administrative leave, according to EJ Rivers, zoo spokesperson.

These changes come as talks are underway to prepare a plan to keep the embattled park open, as they continue to suffer financially.

Zoo officials did not say why Poff was placed on leave.

Deputy Director David Wetzel will be taking over her duties.

Thursday morning, zoo officials held a meeting discussing personnel and contract issues. They were in executive session and the media was not allowed in.

Last week, Jackson Zoo employees chose to take pay cuts rather than cutting hours amid more cost cutting measures being taken at the zoo.

Zoo officials primarily blame that on declining attendance which they say is due to their location and outdated facilities.

They've said in recent months that the zoo board of directors recommended moving the zoo to LeFleur's Bluff State Park where they could build a more advanced park, with newer habitats for animals and a more visitor friendly environment.

We hope to learn more about the zoo future at tonight's meeting and have details about what's next for the zoo coming up at 5.

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