Breaking News
More () »

John Ball Zoo hopes to reopen on May 29

Park capacity will be limited, staff will encourage social distancing and visitors are asked to wear masks.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Leaders from the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids hope to open to the public later this month.

At a news conference Tuesday, May 19, the zoo announced plans to open to members on May 29 and the general public on May 30. Officials said the zoo would only follow through with that plan if it is safe to do so and intent on following the law and state social distancing guidelines and orders. 

During the news conference, the zoo also outlined some guidelines they say they'll use to keep people and animals safe, including limiting park capacity to 25% through timed tickets and encouraging social distancing in areas where lines form with stickers on the pavement and reminders from staff.

All indoor buildings at the zoo, like the gift shop and aquariums, will remain closed when the zoo reopens.

Zoo officials said staff members will wear masks, and visitors are being asked to as well.

The John Ball Zoo has been around for more than a century, but the coronavirus pandemic has shuttered the facility for longer than ever before. The months of April and May have lost the zoo about a million dollars a month, but a 2016 millage is helping the zoo survive. The zoo is hoping that donations and other fundraising efforts will keep them afloat. 



►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.

Have a news tip? Email news@13onyourside.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Before You Leave, Check This Out