Fans of National Zoo's invertebrate exhibit launch online petition to protest closure

WASHINGTON (AP) - Some lovers of the National Zoo in Washington have gotten their backbones up over the impending shutdown of an invertebrate exhibit.

The zoo announced on Monday that the 27-year-old exhibit, housed in the basement of the reptile house, will close permanently this Sunday. Officials say the exhibit needs $5 million in upgrades that the zoo cannot afford.

ABC 7 news partner WTOP reports that critics of the decision include Bethesda resident Terri Jacobsen. She created an online petition in hopes of persuading the zoo to keep the exhibit open.

Jacobsen says zoo officials don't seem to know what the public wants.

The exhibit houses a collection of shellfish and other marine life, as well as spiders and insects.