John Ball Zoo

John Ball Zoo's Historical Timeline: 1949 to 1970

 

1949

Katherine Whinery and other citizens pressure City to rebuild Zoo with help from the public. Kay was instrumental in the formation of the Zoo Society. She was on the first board and stayed on the board until her death in1998.

First community meeting to form Zoo Society was held.

Fred Meyer was hired to be first Zoo Director and Fred See was hired as Director of City Parks. The two of them rebuilt and enlarged the Zoo throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s.

1950

Monkey Island Exhibit constructed. Aviary constructed.

John Ball Zoo Society was incorporated as non-profit and agreed to raise private funds to improve the Zoo.

Ben Pedigo was elected its first President.

1951

City gives rights to concessions in park and zoo to the Zoo Society. Jack Loeks was hired to operate the facilities.

The Zoo grew and Fred Meyer added 52 species.

1952

Waterfowl Exhibit constructed.

Raccoon Exhibit constructed.

1953

John Ball Zoo Entry constructed

1954

LV Eberhard elected Zoo Society President. LV was president until 1964 and remained active member of the Board until he passed away in 1991.

1955

First children’s zoo opens, donated by LV.

1957

Camels arrive at the Zoo.

New Spider monkeys arrive after two years of monkey revolt on Monkey Island.

Black bear cubs born.

1958

Bear Exhibits donated by Mr. X (Henry Masten).

1959

Fred Meyer honored by AAZPA (now AZA)

Michigan Exhibits (Upper run) constructed.

Polar bears arrive.

Bison Exhibit constructed.

Sea Lion/Nutria arrive.

1960

Aquarium constructed.

 

1961

Conservatory (enclosed jungle) constructed.

Education Building constructed.

Ostrich Exhibit constructed.

1964

Elephant Exhibit completed.

Jaguars added to the collection.

1965

Zoella, the one and only elephant, arrives at the Zoo.

1967

Hooved stock yards built.

1970

Special Exhibits Building constructed next to Monkey Island.

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