The birds are back at John Ball Zoo


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The birds are back! After four months of quarantine, many of the birds at John Ball Zoo have finally returned for visitors to enjoy.

“Our amazing Animal Care team protected over 150 birds for the last 4 months and we are excited to announce that none of our birds were infected with the Bird Flu,” read a Facebook post from JBZ.

Visitors can now view the following birds:

  • Toco toucans
  • Pied cros
  • Von Der Decken’s hornbills
  • Egyptian geese
  • Snowy owls
  • Asian Aviary (including Bali Mynahs and Nicobar pigeons)
  • Barn Owls
  • Budgies (including the Budgie Experience)

Some species, like the flamingoes, will still remain behind closed doors for now. The zoo says it hopes to bring them to their outdoor habitats “in the coming weeks.”

Bird flu has spread across West Michigan this spring, both in commercial and wild flocks of birds. last month, dozens of cormorants died at a park in Muskegon due to bird flu, the Department of Natural Resources confirmed.

On March 1, John Ball Zoo announced that it would be quarantining its birds following the discovery of bird flu in Kalamazoo. The zoo activated its Emergency Disease Plan, temporarily closing all walk-through bird cages and placing all birds in quarantine.

John Ball Zoo’s birds returning to the public marks a hopeful step forward. Veterinarian Dr. Ryan Colburn and the Animal Care team have been monitoring the spread of bird flu in the state, according to the post. They said they will continue to provide updates on which birds will be out and ready to view at the zoo as time goes on.

“Thank you for your patience this season as we make the best possible decisions for the safety and well-being of our birds,” JBZ wrote.

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