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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – The doors will stay open at one of Montgomery County’s cultural gems thanks to a combination of public and private money.

The Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown badly needed an infusion of cash to keep the doors open through the winter months when the crowds are sparse. An anonymous private donation coupled with public money totaling more than $350,000 will sustain the facility until the weather gets warmer and the crowds return. State Senator Daylin Leach was instrumental in securing some of that cash.

“If we had lost this zoo because of a momentary short sightedness, that would have been a devastating blow not only economically to Norristown and not only economically to the region, but in terms of our image and in terms of sort of the cultural foundation of the region,” said Senator Leach.

Zoo Director Bill Konstant says they’ve also cut their budget by another 15 percent and pared expenses by only opening on weekends during the winter. They also hope to grow the membership base for a zoo that’s been part of the community for nearly 90 years.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio

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