- Associated Press - Friday, February 13, 2015

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) - People living near the Detroit Zoo want officials to tone down the human noise inside the popular venue’s fences.

Some residents of Huntington Woods and Royal Oak said during a public forum Thursday that sounds from the public address system, concerts and even recordings from a visiting dinosaur exhibit are too much.

More than two dozen homeowners signed petitions in December about what they call excessive noise.

“I would like to project the same sounds at you three hours after you go to bed and see how you like it,” Arthur Woehrlen of Royal Oak told zoo Chief Operating Officer Gerry VanAcker.

Woehrlen said he has to wake up at 5 a.m. for work.

The zoo is based in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak and most zoo property is in Huntington Woods - both residential communities. Attendance has been big in recent years, topping 1.3 million last year, just shy of the zoo’s 1997 record.

Several steps have been taken to reduce the impact of the sounds on residents, zoo officials said.

Speakers are pointed away from nearby homes. Special events also have been moved further from residential areas.

VanAcker said staffers would even try to quiet the roars from the popular Dinosauria exhibit.

“We’ve met with experts to eliminate the noise as much as possible,” he said.

That’s not good enough, according to Jay Schwartz, who lives nearby.

“The noise has to be decreased,” Schwartz said. “Instead of trying to mitigate it, don’t generate it.”

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