Minnesota Zoo to offer drive-thru experience as lawmakers squabble over bailout

Still closed under restrictions put in place due to COVID-19, the Minnesota Zoo is offering a new drive-thru experience to raise money as the center faces closure.

This week, the zoo asked lawmakers for a $6 million bailout to cover losses incurred during the months-long closure.

With no revenue coming in, the zoo is still burdened with upkeep costs to take care of its 5,000 animals. Governor Walz says, without help, the zoo could be forced to close.

However, Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka was critical of a bailout for the zoo on Thursday, offering a simple solution instead.

"I have a solution for the Minnesota Zoo: Open the zoo," he said.

As lawmakers seem split on a bailout, the zoo is launching a fundraiser of its own to raise money.

The drive-thru event, called "Beastly Boulevard," will allow visitors to take a leisurely drive through the zoo grounds, taking the zoo's Northern Trail pass bison, horses, camels, llamas, cows, and a host of other creatures.

Tickets for the event go on sale on Friday. The zoo is charging $25 per car for members and $50 for non-members. You can click here for ticket information.

The drive-thru experience will run from June 24 to July 5.