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Zoo news: Jack Hanna tickets sold out
zoo slt bear and mower
Recent rains mean vegetation has been growing rapidly at Great Bends zoo. With 46 acres to maintain, most projects beyond routine animal care have been on hold. The staff has been busy mowing and cutting weeds with string trimmers. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Tickets for the Barton County appearance of Jack Hanna sold out during the Nex-Tech Zoo Fest in June. Tickets for the October show were offered to the general public for the first time during the event, said Scott Gregory, director of Great Bend’s Brit Spaugh Zoo.
People who would still like to purchase tickets are encouraged to sign up on the waiting list at the zoo’s main building, the Raptor Center.
“Jungle Jack” Hanna made the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo and himself famous after making his first of many appearances on “Late Night with David Letterman” in 1985. He was also a regular guest on “Larry King Live,” and has hosted several animal shows of his own.
The show will be Oct. 16 at the Fine Art Auditorium of Barton Community College. It is a fundraiser for the Zoo Society, which exists to support the zoo in its efforts to provide educational and public benefit to the community.
Approximately 2,000 people attended Zoo Fest on June 7. Nex-Tech was a major sponsor and also provided a donation to the zoo. Gregory said this was the final Zoo Fest, but added the company remains a strong supporter of the zoo and is considering another type of event.
With only 622 tickets available initially for the Hanna program, most of the seats were reserved early by the 350 members of the Great Bend Zoological Society. That is one of the benefits of membership, Gregory noted.
Another benefit is being able to fish at the zoo on the first Saturday of each month, from 1 to 4 p.m. This Saturday is one of those fishing weekends, Gregory said, noting a fishing license is required by the state of Kansas. Anyone wanting to fish who doesn’t have a Zoo Society membership can join at the Raptor Center. Cost is $25 for an individual or family. Another benefit of membership is that it is recognized at other zoos, which may provide a discount. Admission to Brit Spaugh Zoo is free, but Zoo Society members get a discount at the gift shop and are invited for the first look at new animals.
A membership form may also be found on the city’s website, greatbendks.net.

Open Friday
While some places will be closed Friday in observance of Independence Day, the Brit Spaugh Zoo is open every day of the year, except Christmas and Thanksgiving.