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Zoo Blog


With Independence Day coming up this is a great time to focus on our two Bald Eagles, Gerald and Betty.

Gerald and Betty have been long time fixtures at the zoo, arriving here in 1988 from Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri.  In 1995 a new bald eagle enclosure was built near the front of the zoo as part of the aquarium construction.  They have been there ever since.

Hello Neighbor! Mixed Species Exhibits

A “mixed species” exhibit is one in which a few different kinds of animals live in the same zoo habitat.  Mixed species exhibits are great for the zoo visitors; it’s fun to learn about ecosystems and the interactions between animals in the wild.  If one animal decides to hide from view, there might be another in the same enclosure that is up and active.  Mixed-species exhibits are great for the animals too!  When everyone gets along, living together is more stimulating for all the animals in the exhibit.  But it takes planning and work to make sure that the neighbors stay friendly.  So how does it work?



The John Ball Zoo has a pair of Southern Ground Hornbills in the African Veldt exhibit near the back of the zoo. You many also see Eastern Bongo, a White Backed Vulture, some Egyptian Geese and Guinea Fowl, but I’m betting you will probably remember the Hornbills the best. They are very active in our exhibit whether chasing the other birds in the exhibit, chipmunks and any other animal that found its way into the yard, or digging things up. 

Spoon full of sugar? How zoo animals take their medicine!

Mary Poppins sang about how a spoon full of sugar helped the medicine go down, but Mary Poppins never worked at a zoo! Just like people and pets, taking medication is sometimes a challenge for the animals at the zoo and finding the best way to give medication can be an even bigger challenge for zoo veterinarians and zoo keepers.