John Ball Zoo gets ready to open for the season Saturday

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Spring is here, and the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids is getting ready for its season opener this weekend.

The zoo is extending its hours for the first weekends just to make sure everyone has a chance to get inside and see the animals.

Bears, tigers, lions — the usual cast of characters will be joined this year by the three red pandas that were born last summer. For the first time, people will be able to get a firsthand look at them

There will be a limited amount of people allowed in at once, and tickets will be time specific.

Starting Saturday, March 27, it will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the week.

Also, all guests 5 years and up need to wear masks.

“We’ve been pretty prepared. So, we’re just excited,” said Rhiannon Mulligan, the education manager at John Ball Zoo. “There’s always a lot of hustle and bustle to get everything looking in tip-top shape for opening day weekend and we’re ready to do that.”

Tickets are available at the gate, but you are not guaranteed to be able to get in right then and there unless you purchase online.

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