SIOUX FALLS, S.D (KELO) — The sudden closing of the Delbridge Museum of Natural History at the Great Plains Zoo, shocked many in the Sioux Falls community.

A little over a week ago, the zoo released a statement, saying as the displays age, there is more potential for chemical exposure.
Out of an abundance of caution, they’re decommissioning the collection.

Now, a local advocacy group is working to save the historic Brockhouse collection which was on display for 40 years.

Jason Haack is a fan of taxidermy. When he was young he and his family would often visit the Delbridge Natural Museum.

“We would go to the museum and just see the animals and just admire and get intrigued. A lot of that stuck with me from being a child. And it actually pretty much kind of led into what I’m doing now,” said Jason Haack, Save the Delbridge/Brockhouse collection.

When he learned the display was closed, he decided to create an advocacy group to fight to keep the collection.

“We’re not in this for anything. We’re not looking to gain anything out of this. There is no personal gains, no monetary we don’t want any of the items within. That collection needs to stay together as a whole,” Haack said.

The group plans to advocate to keep the collection at upcoming city council meetings. Council Member Pat Starr says this is the right move and input is needed from the community of Sioux Falls.

“We need to hear from the public and how important it is to preserve this collection. And hopefully, we haven’t let it go too long, that we can’t do it. We need to know what it would take to restore the collection, what would it take to put it back in shape,” said Pat Starr, Sioux Falls City Council, northeast district.

Starr says nothing is set in stone, and there are still discussions to be had.

“This one is going to be a significant community discussion that needs to happen as part of this. And just something simple of allowing it to be called ‘surplus’ property and taken to the dump. I won’t stand for,” Starr said.

The next City Council meeting is September 5th at 6PM.