Greensward activist banned from Memphis Zoo

Greensward activist banned from Memphis Zoo
Published: Feb. 21, 2018 at 3:23 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 21, 2018 at 5:22 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - An activist trying to protect the Overton Park Greensward has been banned from the Memphis Zoo.

Hunter Demster, a member of Citizens to Preserve Overton Park, said he went the zoo Tuesday after hearing they had posted his photo inside the ticketing booth to tell employees not to let him inside.

The Zoo said Demster and another activist have been placed on an "Authorization of Agency," banning them from Zoo property because of previous incidents.

"This is a public facility funded with public dollars and I am a Memphian and I have broken no laws and done nothing wrong and I have a right to be here and I will stand up for my rights," Demster said.

Demster said he was detained for about 20 minutes in the back of a police car.

Officers let him go with a warning, but he said he was told he would be arrested for trespassing if he came back again.

The incident happened just one day before new Zoo parking plans are set to be announced.

It's part of a compromise that will permanently end overflow parking on the Greensward lawn and give 415 parking spaces to the Zoo.

City spokesperson Kyle Veazey, who is on the advisory team, said the plan won't take away tax dollars from core city services.

The new design will be revealed at Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Pink Palace IMAX theater.

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