Over the winter, visitors have noticed that the Peacock Room in the Raptor Center at the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo has been off limits. A sign in front of the closed curtain advises something new is in the works.
This week the Great Bend Tribune got a sneak peek behind the curtain and we learned more about what the public will see this spring. The area that was once used for meetings, programs and birthday parties will house an exhibit with aquariums, amphibians and other small animals that are now housed in the Education Building.
Ashley Burdick, who has recently been promoted to curator and zoo supervisor, wasn’t ready for a photoshoot but did provide one photo, of a White’s Tree Frog named Groot. The Australian frog is in a cozy terrarium with an artistic forest background that shows off its blue-green coloring.
Don’t worry, the zoo will still be able to host meetings and parties in the future. Before the Raptor Center was built, the “Ed Shed” served that purpose and after the new exhibit opens work will begin on updating that building.
Bears enjoying warm weather
Officially, the first day of Spring will be March 19. But recent warmer weather has the Grizzly Bears at the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo coming outside. Burdick noted the event with a post on Facebook:
“They’re back! With the longer days and warmer weather, our grizzly bears have decided to end their winter nap. Bears don’t go through true hibernation but instead what is called torpor. During torpor, animals can be woken by loud noises; their heart rate slows but their body temperature remains high. During hibernation, the heart rate slows, they will not wake from loud noises or even when moved/touched and the body temperature drops.”
When the zoo’s bears went outside on Monday, Burdick snapped some photos and reported their activity. “They all ran around the yard a few times and then went for a swim to clean their coats. While they are awake and moving around, they will still likely spend a fair amount of time napping during the days.”
The public can visit the bears in their exhibit yard daily. The zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.
Lion “cubs” turn 3
The female lions Sauda and Amana celebrated their third birthdays on Feb. 14 with “birthday cakes” made of meat and chicken broth. Videos of the girls enjoying their cake can be found on the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo Facebook page. They still haven’t made the transition to sharing exhibit space face-to-face with the male, Luke, but everyone gets a turn outside.