News

John Ball Zoo announces temporary plans amid COVID-19 outbreak

As our community, nation and world navigate these unprecedented times, John Ball Zoo has decided to remain closed until further notice and in alignment with government guidelines.

John Ball Zoo (JBZ) continues to monitor the rapidly evolving news regarding COVID-19 in close collaboration with County, State, and Federal partners. “We have always remained in compliance with recommendations from officials, including those of our accrediting body the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA),” commented Peter D’Arienzo chief executive officer for John Ball Zoo. “We have taken a number of precautions, including limiting the number of visitors to our 110 acres, closing all indoor facilities, adding hand washing and sanitizing stations as well as enhancing cleaning protocols.”

The Zoo’s 2,000+ animals along with staff are their top priority. “While much is still unknown about the impact COVID-19 could have on different species of animals, the collective knowledge at this time suggests that the risk is very low, said Dr. Ryan Colburn the Zoo’s veterinarian. “Despite this, we do know that human beings and primates can often share viruses and other diseases. With this in mind, the team is taking additional precautions to extend our social distancing behaviors to our interactions with the primates at the Zoo. The animal care and veterinary teams along with help from the rest of the Zoo team, will continue to work together to make sure that all of our animals are healthy and thriving,” added Dr. Colburn.

Also, in an effort to be a bright light and source of inspiration with the community, JBZ will be launching a series of videos and photographs of the animals who live at the John Ball Zoo across their various social media channels. “We hope you find these educational, fun, and a delightful break from these challenging times,” concluded D’Arienzo.

John Ball Zoo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation founded in 1891 and located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Guided by the four core values of Conservation, Education, Community and Celebrate, John Ball Zoo accomplishes the mission to inspire our community to be actively engaged in the conservation of wildlife and our natural environment.