John Ball Zoo Crawford Amur Tiger Exhibit Opening
May 19, 2014 update:
On June 14, 2014, John Ball Zoo will open CRAWFORD TIGERS OF THE REALM, an all-new exhibit situated on the top of the Idema Forest Realm. The new exhibit will feature three Amur tigers; two male tigers (brothers) and an unrelated female. Lead donors for the exhibit are Bill and Marilyn Crawford, longtime supporters of the Zoo. Marilyn Crawford has been a long time member of the Zoo's Board of Directors and has served on the Zoo's Master Planning & Facilities committee. The Crawfords have worked tirelessly to help create a great Zoo for the past 20 years.
Planning for TIGERS OF THE REALM started three years ago when the Zoo expanded their footprint by nearly 50% with the development of the Idema Forest Realm and the Funicular. That expansion provided the infrastructure for this ambitious animal exhibit.
The exhibit will leave much of the wooded area untouched because of the similarity of the foliage to the Amur tiger habitat in the northern Russia territories. The holding area puts the safety of the animals and the zookeepers first with the latest mechanical and electrical technology.
The Zoo wants the public to know that there are less than 400 adult Amur tigers in the wild and that the conservation and preservation of these magnificent creatures is critical to their survival. Signage and educational programming associated with TIGERS OF THE REALM will emphasize what we can do to help tigers in the wild.
John Ball Zoo is open daily 9-6pm. It is located on Fulton St. just one mile west of downtown Grand Rapids. Admission is $8.50 for adults and $6.50 for children 3-12. 2 and under are free. More information may be found at www.jbzoo.org, Facebook: John Ball Zoo or by calling (616)336-4300.
John Ball Zoo's Tigers of the Forest Realm – OPENING 2014 -- with your help.
This state-of-the-art exhibit with multiple habitats and a tiger trail will be located on the south end of the newly expanded IDEMA Forest Realm. The tiger trail allows the tigers to patrol the woods and move from one habitat to another. The trail will be viewable from the visitor boardwalk. Imagine the thrill of walking along the boardwalk and spotting a tiger strolling along a forest path?
The first permanent animal exhibit to be constructed in the Forest Realm, Tigers of the Realm, will be nothing short of spectacular. Plans include a holding area/breeding facility making John Ball Zoo eligible to participate in the Tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP) and play a crucial role in propagation of the species and inspiring people to help save wild tigers.
Since 2011 the Zoo has nearly doubled in size and is brimming with educational programming, visitor amenities and as always, outstanding animal care and exhibitory. Over two-plus years the Zoo Society has raised over $11.6 million to fund these improvements. Currently we are fundraising to bring Amur Tigers back to Grand Rapids. It's a terrific opportunity for our Zoo to participate in conservation of this highly endangered and hugely iconic animal. Think of the education opportunities – especially since the Zoo touches over 700,000 people annually with educational messages!
DONATE TODAY! online or call (616)336-3036 or (616)336-3309