This month city employees are finishing the expansion to the Grizzly Bear exhibit at the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo. A grand opening of this new exhibit will be held on Saturday, June 2.
The zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day of the year except Christmas day and Thanksgiving Day, and the June 2 event will run all day. However, the first 150 kids at the zoo that day will receive a free stuffed animal.
“Other activities include a wild animal hunt for prizes and food vendors,” said Great Bend City Coordinator Christina Hayes. “The activities will take place all day. Zookeepers will be answering questions and telling fun facts about the animals as well.”
Zoo Curator and Director Sara Hamlin said one of the new features of the larger grizzly bear exhibit is a stream that feeds into a bigger pond that the four bears used to have. The zoo has posted a video of the construction of the stream on its Facebook page (Great Bend-Brit Spaugh Zoo).
“Sara does such a great job at keeping the zoo fun and entertaining!” Hayes said.
The Butterfly House at the zoo has also undergone renovation, with a new entrance and paved sidewalk. This makes it more accessible to people who use wheelchairs and also to moms pushing strollers, Hamlin said.
“The Master Gardeners have taken the Butterfly House on as a project and are in the process of planting new flowers,” Hamlin said. This year’s shipment of butterflies will arrive next week and everything should be ready by Mother’s Day, she said.
Local Master Gardeners have also been at work in the zoo orchard, pruning apple and nut trees.