GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Residence to over 2,000 animals, John Ball Zoo has been nothing wanting bustling with exercise even earlier than it opened for the 2021 season this previous weekend.

MLive discovered that out first hand, spending parts of a number of days within the weeks main as much as the season-opening day on Saturday. MLive went behind the scenes to comply with a few of the devoted employees who’ve cared for animals all through the pandemic.

Scroll all the way down to see our favourite pictures of the zoo’s animals being cared for by employees or simply hanging out through the pandemic.

RELATED: Go behind the scenes at John Ball Zoo as they handle animals through the pandemic

John Ball Zoo’s veterinary employees and different animal care staff members labored by way of the pandemic to maintain animals secure and wholesome. In 2020, the zoo needed to delay its regular March opening two months as a result of coronavirus pandemic however was capable of open from June till November, with restricted capability and timed tickets.

Whereas the months being closed had been annoying, head veterinarian Dr. Ryan Colburn stated they had been crucial for the zoo to take preemptive measures to make sure the protection of each the animals and their company.

RELATED: Treating zoo’s anemic purple panda cub concerned a ‘small military of fantastic individuals’

“Actually, it’s necessary for us to be open in order that we proceed to perform financially and might have the sources we have to take care of the animals. However from a security perspective, we actually wanted to deal with these orders and delay our opening,” he stated. “I feel in the end that time frame, whereas annoying being closed, gave us that point internally to work on all of these issues as a staff to guarantee that after we did open we had been capable of open, proper.“

Slyde, certainly one of two of John Ball Zoo’s North American river otters, swims by way of the water on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (Hope Davison | MLive.com)Hope Davison

Zoo veterinarians, staff keep animals healthy during the pandemic

Dr. Ryan Colburn, head veterinarian on the John Ball Zoo, examines the eyes of a tomato frog on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (Hope Davison | MLive.com)Hope Davison

Zoo veterinarians, staff keep animals healthy during the pandemic

Meerkats play of their habitat on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at John Ball Zoo. (Hope Davison | MLive.com)Hope Davison

Zoo veterinarians, staff keep animals healthy during the pandemic

A zookeeper feeds the penguins at John Ball Zoo on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (Hope Davison | MLive.com)Hope Davison

Zoo veterinarians, staff keep animals healthy during the pandemic

A zookeeper brings Phoenix, a hawk, into the animal hospital for a test in with head veterinarian Dr. Ryan Colburn and veterinary technician Heather Teater on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 on the John Ball Zoo. Phoenix needed to have surgical procedure for ovarian most cancers so the animal well being staff needed to test on the incision to verify it was therapeutic correctly. (Hope Davison | MLive.com)Hope Davison

Zoo veterinarians, staff keep animals healthy during the pandemic

A snow leopard sleeps inside its habitat at John Ball Zoo on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (Hope Davison | MLive.com)Hope Davison

Zoo veterinarians, staff keep animals healthy during the pandemic

A starfish is pictured inside John Ball Zoo’s aquarium on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (Hope Davison | MLive.com)Hope Davison

Zoo veterinarians, staff keep animals healthy during the pandemic

Veterinary technician Kaylee DeBoef offers a deal with for Willow, certainly one of three of John Ball Zoo’s 8-month previous purple panda cubs. The animal well being staff found Willow was anemic and took motion to nurse her again to well being, which required three blood transfusions, in keeping with the zoo. After the transfusions the staff took measures to watch her consuming in addition to different medical wants to make sure that her restoration was as easy as attainable. (Hope Davison | MLive.com)Hope Davison

Zoo veterinarians, staff keep animals healthy during the pandemic

A North American bear is pictured in its habitat at John Ball Zoo on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (Hope Davison | MLive.com)Hope Davison

Zoo veterinarians, staff keep animals healthy during the pandemic

Veterinary technician Heather Teater holds Einstein the rooster throughout a investigate cross-check Tuesday, March 9, 2021. Teater and Dr. Colburn, head veterinarian on the John Ball Zoo, checked on him to look right into a suspected toe an infection. (Hope Davison | MLive.com)Hope Davison

Zoo veterinarians, staff keep animals healthy during the pandemic

Yoshi, one of many Canada Lynx at John Ball Zoo, friends out from a window inside her habitat Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (Hope Davison | MLive.com)Hope Davison

Spring hours for the John Ball Zoo are Monday by way of Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to six p.m. Ticket data is obtainable at www.jbzoo.org/visitandtickets.

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