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Tigers Are Returning To John Ball Park Zoo

(flickr, Maia C)

The John Ball Zoological Society announced today they are bringing tigers back to the Grand Rapids zoo in Phase II of the Zoo Society’s Restore the Roar Capital Campaign.

WZZM TV13 reports the projects include the Bill and Bea Idema Foundation Funicular and Forest Realm, the Bissell Tree House, which was announced earlier this year, the new Amur Tiger Exhibit, a new Grizzly Bear Exhibit, Visitor Welcome Center, and a Central Services/Commissary facility.

The major zoo expansion and renovation will break ground this summer.  The funicular, tree house, welcome center, and central services facility are expected to be completed in 2012, the Grizzly Exhibit in 2013, and the Tiger Exhibit in 2014.

The campaign began in 2010 when the Zoo received the largest contribution in its history; $5 million from Bea Idema and the Bill and Bea Idema Foundation. The Zoo Society announced this morning that  the campaign has received $10,250,000 more in pledges and contributions.

Today’s announcement kicks off an effort to raise $1,750,000 to complete the expansion/renovation projects.

The Zoo’s last tiger was moved to another zoo in 2009. The decision was made not to bring tigers back to the Zoo until a larger more natural exhibit could be built for them.


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