Massachusetts Lawmakers May Restore $2M Zoo Budget After Animal Death Threats

Massachusetts lawmakers could vote as early as Wednesday on a plan to restore $2 million to the budget of the Boston area's two major zoos weeks after zoo officials raised the specter of animals being euthanized because of funding cuts.

Officials at Zoo New England said the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and the Stone Zoo in Stoneham faced shutting down and the possibility that some zoo animals would have to be killed if lawmakers didn't restore a $4 million budget cut.

Gov. Deval Patrick has defended the cuts saying the zoos shouldn't be exempt from cuts during a fiscal crisis and that no animals were ever really threatened.

A bill set to come up before lawmakers would restore $2 million of the $4 million cut.