The Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo is closed for now, along with all City of Great Bend parks, but care and feeding of the animals continues. Zoo Supervisor and Curator Ashley Burdick provided an update on what is going on:
“Other than being closed to the public, our daily routines are unchanged. We complete all the tasks that we always have including feeding, cleaning, enrichment and the veterinarians come as they always have.
“In March we did physicals on the two younger male Grizzly Bears, Winnie and Pooh. The Grizzly boys, and Piglet, are 7 years old. We have more animals on our schedule for their routine physical exams, including Tommie the Cougar and Poppy the Binturong. We continue to work on cleaning up the zoo and getting things looking nice,” she said.
Burdick posted more about Pooh’s March 25 physical on Facebook:
“During their physicals we draw blood, check and clean their teeth, give vaccinations, check joints, muscle tone, eyes, ears, and much more! Shout-out to Animal Care Hospital, LLC for all the great work they do for us at the zoo!!”
Plans for the outside enclosure on the new Parrot Building are in the final stages and Burdick said she hopes that project will start soon. The plan to bring in Bison for the new exhibit is on hold due to the COVID-19 situation but the exhibit is nearly ready to go.
“We just have some things to finish in the off-exhibit areas, such as the kitchen,” Burdick said. She is hopeful that as soon as things settle down we can get the bison here.
The new exhibit up front in the Raptor Center is finished. Animals that used to be in the Ed Shed were moved to that display in the former conference room just a few days before the zoo closed; it will be ready when the zoo can open again.
“Due to travel restrictions and delays with travel we won’t be receiving any new animals until things return to normal,” Burdick said. However, injured birds of prey are still being excepted for the Raptor Rehabilitation Program. “This is limited to eagles, owls, hawks, falcons, etc.,” she said.
Meanwhile, the public can stay engaged via the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo’s Facebook page. “We are going to continue to post regular updates and fun things on our Facebook page to help keep people connected to the animals even though they can’t come to the zoo.”