John Ball Zoo waits for green light from state to reopen

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — John Ball Zoo says it will not reopen until Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gives the OK, but that it hopes that will be May 29, the day after her order mandating the closure of most public places ends.

The Grand Rapids zoo said in addition to obeying the governor’s orders aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus, it is concerned about the health of its visitors, staff and animals.

“With that said, we are ready and prepared to open safely to the public and are hopeful that we will be allowed to do so by May 29,” the zoo said in a Wednesday statement.

It says it is averaging a revenue loss of $1 million per month for April and May and expects that figure to double in June, July and August.

Elsewhere in Kent County, Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park in Alto says it’s going to open Friday. The privately-owned institution notes zoos are not specifically listed in Whitmer’s ban and argues that creates a gray area. It is enacting health safety measures including social distancing procedures.

Near Battle Creek, Binder Park Zoo is also closed.

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