Monday, August 14, 2023

A Visit to John Ball Zoo

I was recently able to visit John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids Michigan, so here is my review . . . 

If you have not visited John Ball Zoo lately, it is safe to say it is not the "same old zoo". I grew up here and as a child each year we visited the zoo at the end of school for a field day. As my children grew up, we also visited the zoo from time to time and it was mostly like it was when I was a child. But, over the past few years the John Ball Zoo has made significant changes and it is no longer the "same old zoo"!

When you enter the zoo you are clearly able to see there have been
significant changes. There no longer is a steep path into the zoo. Instead there is a more gentle slope leading up past their newest addition - the amazing Pygmy Hippos! I LOVE the Pygmy Hippos - the new habitat allows you to see them in the water as they walk along the bottom of their pool and in a grassy area where they are able to walk around. Did you know Pygmy Hippos make their own "sunscreen"? They are an amazing animal and I am SO happy John Ball Zoo now has them! My grandsons thought the Pygmy Hippos were cool - and they are absolutely correct!

From there we saw the Bald Eagle, the boys were able to "pet" a turtle and headed for the "Wild Way Trail" where we were able to see Wallabies, a Cockatoo, and Lemur. 

From there we headed for the Red Panda - another favorite for sure! I really love how John Ball Zoo has more than the "typical" zoo animals, Pygmy Hippos, Wallabies, and Red Pandas are not at every zoo, but they are at John Ball Zoo!

If these were the only animals we saw, I would have been happy, but there were more amazing animals to see! The lions, and tigers, and bears were still waiting for us! First we saw the Tigers - and they were SO beautiful! I love how large the Tiger Habitat is - so much room for the tigers to enjoy - and for us to enjoy seeing them in different places.

Then we saw the Lions - along with African Bongos and Hornbills - not in the same space, but all in the African area. I hear it is possible for Giraffes to be added to this space in a few years . . . I would LOVE it if this happens!

Next we saw Chimpanzees, and my grandsons LOVED the snakes in the reptile house!

We hoped to see the Otters, but they were not out, however we did see porcupines, and Grizzly Bears! The boys were about to sit "next" to one of the bears - I was thankful for the glass between them for sure! I am very impressed with the expansive and beautiful habitats John Ball Zoo has designed for the animals in their care which allow visitors to get "close" and see these amazing animals.

Our visit was coming to a close, but we also saw Mountain Lions, Snow Leopards, Capybaras, Giant Anteaters, Toucans, Flamingos, and Meerkats. 

Our trip to the zoo was a fantastic experience - we saw so many unique animals, especially loved the Pygmy Hippos, Red Pandas, and Tigers, and enjoyed our time together for sure! And this grandma LOVED all the photos with my grandsons, too!

I highly recommend visiting John Ball Zoo if you live in West Michigan. If you do not live near, absolutely consider making a visit - there are so many things to see and do here with John Ball Zoo at the top of the list of destinations not to miss! You will find out more about John Ball Zoo at this link. Be sure to check this link for info on the awards John Ball Zoo has received as well as info on their plans for a world-class aquarium! (I am SO looking forward to this for sure!)

Thank you John Ball Zoo for the tickets for my visit and review.

No comments:

Post a Comment