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Urban Wildlife

Snowshoe with your Sweetie - a night hike

News Release

February 10, 7-8:30 PM $16 or $8
Take a romantic candlelit hike through the snowy woods with your loved one. Listen to the crunch of snow, the hoot of owls and sweet whispers in your ear while you experience the magic of winter in Michigan. This easy paced hike is for all experience and fitness levels. $16 per couple with snowshoe rental, $8 per couple without rental. RSVP required by calling 735-6240. For adult couples only.


The Birds

The Birds

A while back I wrote an article about some birds my friend told me about that gather in the downtown area coming from the east and west in Grand Rapids.

Last evening while traveling on the expressway from the west side about 5:45-6:00pm, my friend Pat and I witnessed all these birds. It was amazing; there were thousands of them in the air.

I am following up with this in hopes that someone out there can give me some insight as to why this happens, what kind of birds are they and where are all these birds coming from? I know birds gather in flocks like this in the fall but to see this in the winter is something else.

Do you have some information for me on this?

Animal care at zoos is anything but routine

No one likes getting into a rut doing the same things over and over again and we now know that animals don’t either. In the wild, animals encounter many challenges in their day to day life. In Zoos, there is no need to hunt, forage for food, and to protect themselves from predators, so to prevent boredom,  Zookeepers (both at John Ball Zoo and Zoos around the world) must be very clever about finding ways to keep their animals’ instincts sharp and their senses stimulated. This practice of animal care is called “animal enrichment”. 

John Ball Zoo has a detailed, daily, enrichment plan in place for most of the 2,000 animals in their care. Sometimes it’s a tried-and-true method, such as peanut butter stuffed inside a coconut. At other times it’s experimental. One of the chimp keepers at John Ball Zoo gave the chimps a pillow case. The smallest one put it on her head – ghost style – and ran around chasing the other chimps.

Only 4 days left to see “Mighty Mike”

From: http://www.johnballzoosociety.org/

(Grand Rapids, MI) Starting August 31, visitors have only 4 days to get their last glimpses of the record breaking, 13-foot, 600-pound,  alligator that has called John Ball Zoo home for the past 17 weeks.  MIGHTY MIKE and his five smaller ‘gator pals will be retrieved by their owner the day after Labor Day to return to their winter home in Florida. 

It’s been a good run for Mike.  Over 350,0000 guests got a look at the giant-in-the-pond.   Some got to see him gobble up a raw chicken and a few got to see him hoist his massive body onto the shore.  He was on TV, in countless Flckr photos and in the newspaper.  Mike was the first animal visitors saw when they entered the zoo and the last animal as they left. 

Mighty Mike’s<