Visitors to John Ball Zoo this summer will meet a new arrival, Mabelle, a female Amur tiger.

Mabelle has come from the Columbus Zoo, to participate in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) WZZM-13 reports.

Amur tigers, also known as Siberian tigers, are on the endangered species list, with fewer than 4,000 living in the wild, according to National Geographic.

SSP works to protect animals from extinction. According to John Ball Zoo,

There are over 450 different SSP programs created to cooperatively manage species that are threatened or endangered. Each program is managed by an advisory group made up of animal experts. SSP programs not only help to manage animal populations in captivity but also help contribute to field conservation efforts, species recovery, and veterinary care for wildlife diseases.

As part of SSP, Mabelle has been brought to John Ball Zoo for recommended breeding with one of their current residents, Amur tiger, Finn. Finn's brother, Titan, has been transferred to the Toledo Zoo for recommended breeding with a female tiger there.

John Ball Zoo said in a post to Facebook,

While we are sad to see Titan leave, we are so excited to see what the future holds for him, Finn, and Mabelle, and excited that he can contribute to the survival of his species."


They shared a video showing Mabelle's journey from Columbus to GR.

The Grand Rapids Zoo previously said they hope to reopen for the season May 29th, however in a post to Facebook today (May 28th), John Ball Zoo says they will not reopen this weekend:

In making this difficult decision, we have sought insight from our partners at the state, county, city, community, and law enforcement to gain the clarity needed for JBZ to open.

In the end, it is clear that opening on May 29 is not in the best interest of our members, guests, employees, and animals due to the lack of clarity that still exists on the restrictions of the executive orders. We do not have a possible new date to announce at this time.


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