Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

North Spokane zoological park move to ML falls through


There will be no lions, tigers — and yes, even bears — roaming on land outside of Medical Lake at a relocated Cat Tales.

This past November, city resident Scott Christenson broached that idea at a City Council meeting, informing the group he was working behind the scenes to see if the zoological park located along U.S. Highway 2 north of Spokane might find a new home.

Christenson recently reported that efforts to get 6th Legislative District Sen. Mike Baumgartner to submit a bill that would allow sale of state land near Lakeland Village for the project failed. An alternative to purchase private land came with a $10,000 zoning change fee he wrote in a text message.

Cat Tales has already started finding new homes for the cats on the property and will be closing later this year, Christenson said.

Christenson had been trying to work a deal to acquire the abandoned dairy farm property, or possibly portions of the Pine Lodge correctional facility. An alternative would have been to seek a parcel of private land, but that needed the zoning change. Since the request could have been turned down, spending a significant amount of money was not worth the risk.

Having traveled to the Olympic Game Farm, a drive-through park near Sequim, Wash., gave Christenson the idea to connect with Cat Tales. It took a year or so for him to hear back from them, but they were receptive he said.

The impetus for the project came from an incident a couple of years ago where deer got into Christenson’s back yard, attacked his dogs, inflicting injuries on them.

“I love the scene of deer around town and everything, but after they attacked my dogs and just about killed them I realized how dangerous they really can be,” Christenson explained.

Paul Delaney can be reached at


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