John Ball Zoo is preparing for their upcoming 2022 season. Their opening day will be in just a few weeks, on Friday, March 25th.

The zoo has announced several new residents that will be moving in this year...


Photo by Vish K on Unsplash

John Ball Zoo will be hosting two male koalas for the summer. They will be arriving in May and make the zoo their home for the summer. Their visit is part of the San Diego Zoo Global Education and Conservation Program. In a recent John Ball Zoo newsletter, the zoo stated "This will be your chance to learn about the impact koalas have on habitats near and far. Having these two ambassadors will allow guests to learn about koalas up close!"

Pigmy Hippos

Pigmy Hippos
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

You'll have to wait awhile for these guys...John Ball Zoo also has plans to debut a new exhibit in 2023. It will feature one of the most exotic species -- the pigmy hippo. There are less than 3,000 of these rare hippos remaining in the wild. The zoo's new exhibit will be part of a Species Survival Breeding Program. The 300-600 pound pigmy hippos should arrive in November of this year. The pigmy hippopotamus is native to the forests and swamps of West Africa.


Photo by Chandan Siddaramaia on Unsplash

Also scheduled to arrive at John Ball Zoo are some Sitatungas. These are swamp-dwelling antelope found through central Africa. These animals are about 30-45 inches tall at the shoulder. The females weigh about 50-125 pounds, while the males get quite a bit bigger, weighing in at 165-260 pounds.

White Storks

White Stork
Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

This large bird has a 60-85 inch wingspan. They are also from Africa and parts of Europe.

Australian Black Swans

Australian Black Swan
Photo by Sarah Kilian on Unsplash

These large water birds live in the southern regions of Australia. They have wingspan of 5 to 6 feet. They also have the longest neck among swans.

Jobs at John Ball Zoo

John Ball Zoo is having another in-person hiring party on Saturday, March 5th from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm in the Ballroom (above the Administration Building). You will have a chance to meet the hiring managers, play games, and interview right on the spot for seasonal jobs. If you can't make it out in person, every Thursday until they open, they will be hosting virtual open interviews from 3:00-4:30 pm. You can apply online and sign up for an interview time.

New "Washed Ashore" Exhibit

This exhibit will feature 16 larger-than-life sculptures created from marine debris. See giant eagles made of recycled ocean waste and colorful jellyfish created from beach cleanups. "Washed Ashore" will be on display beginning April 1st and running until the end of the season. Read more about the exhibit here.

Visit John Ball Zoo

John Ball Zoo opens for the 2022 season on Friday, March 25th at 10:00 am. You can check out their daily operating hours and also see admission prices on their website.

John Ball Zoo is located at 1300 West Fulton Street NW on the west side of Grand Rapids.


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