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John Ball Zoo is re-opening

Posted at 4:29 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 18:05:37-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — John Ball Zoo is nearly ready to re-open its doors.

The zoo will open to members on June 5 through June 7 and then open to everyone on June 8, according to the zoo today.

Health and safety

John Ball Zoo said it has implemented several new health and safety procedures under the theme "Protect the Herd."

Before arriving, the zoo is requesting that all visitors reserve a timed ticket online, due to the zoo's limited capacity at opening.

Ground markers and signage will remind visitors to maintain six feet "between groups."

Some visitor spaces will be closed, which may include indoor spaces, outdoor play areas and experiences.

There are also hand washing and hand-sanitizing stations, and the zoo is implementing "more frequent and detailed cleaning protocols."

John Ball Zoo staff will wear face masks, and the zoo recommends visitors wear a face mask. Face masks will be available upon request or at the gift shop.

New additions

Along with an "inclusively designed playground" completed last fall, visitors will be welcomed by a new entry with "a gently curving, inclusively designed entry valley pathway."

The new pathway will eliminate the steep hill visitors faced when entering the zoo.

Visitors will be greeted by the "BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise" exhibit, which features more than 40 life-sized sculptures of endangered animals created with 1.8 million toy building bricks.

The sculptures are intended to help educate visitors about "the importance of the preservation of endangered species." John Ball Zoo is the first zoo in Michigan to host the exhibit.

The zoo said there's also a new habitat for the meerkats and cape porcupine, which has wide viewing windows for an "engaging experience."

For more information on tickets, visit