The Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo invites the public to a first birthday party for its two lions, Amana and Sauda, on Saturday, Feb. 17.
Cupcakes provided by the Great Bend Zoological Society and cookies provided by Stoneridge Country Club will be available for guests at 1 p.m.
The zoo’s quarantine area will be open to the public from 1-2 p.m. so that people can visit the newly paired lar gibbons. Keepers will be available to answer questions and there will be a “Keeper Chat” at the lion cub yard (formerly tiger yard) at 2:30 p.m.
Zito, the zoo’s first lar gibbon, moved here on Nov. 10, 2016, from the Lincoln (Neb.) Children’s Zoo. Zoo Supervisor and Curator Sara Hamlin said the staff hoped to find a companion for the 23-year-old male primate and last fall the zoo acquired Rerun, a female lar gibbon. Although they are not a breeding pair, the lar gibbons have been placed together and even though both had lived alone for several years they appear to be compatible.
One of the best ways for the public to stay involved with the zoo is by joining the Great Bend Zoological Society. President Karen Neuforth said the Zoo Society has helped with several recent projects, thanks to endowment funds left by Bill McKown though the Golden Belt Community Foundation.
“They’ve been doing renovation at the Butterfly House,” Neuforth said. A handicap-accessible walkway has been added and there are plans for a new door and entrance.
The Zoo Society is also helping pay for a new parrot house. The zoo took back five exotic birds when the Birds Befriended program with the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility came to an end in 2017.
100 Who Care
The Great Bend Zoological Society is one of three groups that will make a presentation to the Barton County 100 People Who Care group at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, in the Courtyard at the Best Western Angus Inn. There will also be presentations by representatives of the Golden Belt Humane Society and the Community Food Bank of Barton County. One of these nonprofit groups will receive approximately $11,000. Only 100 Who Care members will be permitted to vote, but anyone interested in learning more is welcome to attend the meeting. Learn more online at www.100bartoncounty.org and on Facebook.
Finally, as reported in January, work is underway on the grizzly bear exhibit at Brit Spaugh Zoo with completion of the $877,290 expansion planned for some time this spring. This includes an expanded fenced area increasing the size by at least three times, a shelter house, a pond and a stream with running water. The bears will also get shade structures, a climbing wall and other features. Donations from the Dorothy Morrison Foundation are paying for the project which is being built by Eby Construction of Wichita.