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John Ball Zoo to kick off season with four days of Zoobilee

John Ball Zoo hopes to get families out of the house with four days of animal demonstrations, crafts and meeting the zoo keepers. This first big event of the season runs from April 7-11.
Attendees of Zoobilee will get the opportunity to see how the zookeepers train their bears.

Attendees of Zoobilee will get the opportunity to see how the zookeepers train their bears. /John Ball Zoo

More About Zoobilee and John Ball Zoo:

Visitor Information

Children at a previous Zoobilee interact.

Children at a previous Zoobilee interact. /John Ball Zoo

The John Ball Zoo will be hosting Zoobilee April 7-11. Zoobilee is the zoo’s first big event for the season, since its opening for the year on March 1. The event is four days of demonstrations, crafts and activities all designed for children and families.

“This is a really great event for the community because it’s a really great way to inexpensively bring the family out for a fun adventure while the kids are on spring break. Parents are trying to figure out different things to do and get the kids out of the house. Each day is fairly unique, so if they want to come out every day or if they wanted to come out just one day, it’s something fun that the family can do together,” says assistant education program manager Dee Stevens.

Zoobilee attendees will be able to see zookeeper staff feeding the animals, including the zoo’s penguins. Another demonstration will be the opportunity to see zookeepers training the bears.

“It’s a way for us to help the animal get used to medical procedures, but it’s also a really great way for us to show the public how we have them show their paws, open their mouths and show their back sides. It’s a real educational experience,” says Stevens.

In addition, there will be a “Meet the Keeper” segment, where kids will have the chance to meet a zookeeper, ask questions and learn how to become a zookeeper. Kids will also be able to have an up-close encounter with some of the zoo’s education animals. These animals could include their bearded dragons, snakes, rabbits, hedgehogs or even a porcupine.

There will be a crafts station for kids to make a fun animal creation to take home with them. If the weather conditions are cold, the zoo’s aquarium, treasures of the tropics, and indoor chimpanzee exhibit will also be open for visitors to warm up in.

“The zoo is actually a really great place to come to during spring time, because the animals are actually the most active. We’ve had several months off, where we’ve been closed, and the animals miss the people just as much as the people miss the animals. With it being a little bit chillier out, they are a bit more active especially our bears, snow leopards, and otters. They are moving around like crazy in their exhibit.  This is their peak weather,” says Stevens.

The cost of attendance is general admission to the zoo: $4 for children and $5 for adults. The zoo is open from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. every day. Zoobilee activities will take place from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

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