Sykes seeks money for zoo operation

By By Chris Allen Baker / staff writer
March 29, 2002
Lauderdale County Supervisor Q.V. Sykes, who said last fall he was dropping a zoo project, presented fellow supervisors with a proposed budget Thursday for a zoo at the county's new recreational park.
Sykes, of District 4, asked for $13,869 to operate a zoo at the Q.V. Sykes Recreational Complex from May 1 to September 30. Supervisors will have to consider the zoo during budget hearings.
The budget includes veterinary medical expenses, supplies, contractual services, a part-time employee and a full-time employee.
Rex Hiatt, county administrator, said the zoo can also use assistance from animal control, the county's agricultural center and a local veterinarian.
Sykes defined what kind of zoo he wants.
Sykes said animals now include a pony, sheep, goat, chickens and rabbits. Sykes said the animals are loaned by county residents who want their animals back when Sykes leaves office.
But the zoo is not without controversy. Board attorney Rick Barry said if the county is going to pay for the animals' care, the animals should be owned by the county.
District 3's Craig Hitt, who also serves as board president, politely stood his ground.