Spring Has Sprung at the Detroit Zoo

By: Amber Ogden | April 8, 2015

Spring has officially sprung, and there is no better time to visit the Detroit Zoo. While Wild Winter at the Zoo provided plenty of frosty fun, now that the sun is shining, it’s a wonderful time of year to explore all that the zoo has to offer.

Jennie Miller, Communications Manager of the Detroit Zoological Society, says that any time of year is a great opportunity to visit the 2,500 animals of 280 species at the Detroit Zoo, 8450 W. 10 Mile Rd., Royal Oak. In addition to springtime events such as GreenFest, Zoo Brew and Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo, animals that have been indoors during the colder months are now out and about as the weather warms up.

“For example, our Grevy’s zebra foal named Enzi, born on New Year’s Day, just took his first steps into his outdoor habitat,” Miller said.

She noted that springtime at the zoo also means the return of the 4-D theatre and simulator ride, and this season it features Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs—The Ride, Rio: The 4-D Experience, and Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure 4-D.

Over Easter weekend, the Detroit Zoo’s 24th annual Bunnyville celebration was full of treats, games, crafts and live entertainment for children. The upcoming GreenFest is a zoo-wide celebration of Earth Day on Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19. The weekend will consist of earth-friendly crafts, an endangered species scavenger hunt and exhibits by local conservation groups.

Tri-County Senior Day occurs on Wednesday, April 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., when seniors ages 62 and a caregiver can receive free admission and parking at the zoo. The afternoon will feature live music, bingo, zookeeper talks and more.

One of the zoo’s most popular events is Zoo Brew, which happens twice a year. Unless you’ve already got a ticket in hand, unfortunately you’re going to have to wait until the fall event, because the Thursday, May 7 event is officially sold out!

“Zoo Brew is popular among adults because it combines a love of lions, tigers and local beers. The beer tasting experience features unique brews from select Michigan craft breweries, live music, food for purchase, exclusive access to the zoo’s award-winning habitats until twilight and zookeeper talks,” Miller said. “And since the event requires a valid 21-or-older photo ID, it’s a great way for adults to enjoy the zoo in a unique child-free atmosphere.”

All three levels of tickets (VIP, regular admission and designated driver) are unavailable, but keep your eyes peeled for the fall event in September.

Next month, the Detroit Zoo will partner with the Michigan Humane Society to bring you Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo! The event is held on Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16, and features hundreds of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens available for immediate adoption to loving homes.

According to Miller, it is one of the nation’s largest off-site companion animal adoption events, and last year’s spring and fall events combined found homes for 1,153 animals. Since the event’s inception 22 years ago, over 20,000 dogs, cats and rabbits have been placed into new homes.

“The Detroit Zoological Society encourages everyone to choose domesticated animals for pets; exotic pets are often taken from the wild and this disruption can cause environmental damage as well as harm the animals themselves. Because pet stores often receive their animals from puppy farms or through the exotic pet trade, we suggest adopting a dog or cat from a local shelter or Humane Society like the ones that will be present at Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo,” Miller said.

Dinosauria makes its debut later in the spring on Friday, May 22 and runs through September. That gives you plenty of time to take in the forty life-like animatronic dinosaurs that snarl, move and spit. While that may sound a little intense, Miller assures it is fun for visitors of all ages.

If you haven’t been to the Detroit Zoo since the last time it was warm outside, you’re long overdue for a trip back. There is always something new and exciting happening at the zoo, whether it’s a new exhibit or a special event.

“The Detroit Zoo is recognized as a leader in conservation, animal welfare and sustainability as well as providing sanctuary for animals in need of rescue,” Miller said. “The zoo provides year-round educational, recreational and environmental conservation opportunities for the community.”

For more information on the Detroit Zoo and its upcoming events, visit the official website.