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Zoo News: New signage guides Brit Spaugh Zoo visitors
grizzly bear sign
A 7.5-foot-tall grizzly bear sign has been installed next to the grizzly bear exhibit, to show just how tall an adult grizzly can be. It also provides another photo-op for zoo visitors.

The Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo recently added a two-dimensional bear sign to illustrate how big grizzly bears can be.

Standing on their back feet, a grizzly can be up to 8 feet tall, which is about the height of the zoo’s biggest grizzly, Pooh, said Ashley Burdick, curator and zoo supervisor. This sign is a 7.5-foot tall grizzly cutout that was funded by the Great Bend Zoological Society and designed, made and installed by Mark’s Custom Signs.

“Mark’s Custom Signs also designed and installed a brand new map to replace our old, outdated map in the outdoor sign,” Burdick said. OPI Great Bend designed and printed trifold maps for the zoo.

Poppy the binturong isn’t listed because the zoo is still working on a permanent exhibit for her. Even though Poppy isn’t on the map, she is still a zoo resident and you may catch a glimpse of her in her temporary spot. Follow the asphalt road south past the turkey vultures – which are on the map – and there is a fence cutout for viewing her exhibit.

The goal is to eventually get some concrete poured and fences adjusted to open that area where Poppy and the lar gibbons are.

“We are hoping to accomplish a few more projects, (such as) adding new benches and platforms in the cougar yard,” Burdick said. “These will be higher up than their rocks go. Cougars can jump at least 20 feet from a standing position; they are great at jumping. They feel more secure up high as it gives a better vantage point. We are hoping this makes them a bit more comfortable until we can eventually expand their exhibit.”

The zoo staff are also looking into replacing the clear viewing windows on the lion exhibit. Finally, with fall and winter quickly approaching, zookeepers are preparing for cold weather by getting heat lamps, heated water bowls, and bedding out to the animals that will need them.

zoo map
Maps on brochures and signs at the Great Bend Brit-Spaugh Zoo were recently updated.