John Ball Zoo

Ryan Colburn


After graduating from Grand Rapids Christian High School, he went on to earn his Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Calvin College before going to Michigan State University where he graduated with his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM).  After graduation, he completed a one-year rotating internship at michcigan Veterinary Specialists in Grand Rapids.  He spent one year as an attending Emergency clinician before fully transitiong into the role of full time veterinarian for the John Ball Zoo.

Posts by Ryan

Unique Cases Call For Specialized Testing - Penguin Ct Scan


Medicine, both human and veterinary, have come so far over the centuries. Amazing technologies allow for advanced testing that was not available in the past. We are very fortunate at the zoo to have built partnerships with many colleagues to allow us to utilize some of these technologies when we need them.  While we are able to perform a great deal on site at the zoo hospital, specialized equipment is needed for some tests.

CT Scan On AnimalsDr. Ryan ColburnJohn Ball Zoo Veterinarian

A Very Special Trip To The Dentist


A Very Special Trip to the Dentist

Even though the zoo has closed for the season, the animal care staff are still very busy caring for all of the zoo residents. In the veterinary department, the last few weeks have been a flurry of activity with a number of routine examinations and procedures to get done. 

Dr. Ryan ColburnVeterinarianZoo Veterinarian

Veterinary Care: Annual Exams


Keeping your Zoo Healthy  

Veterinary Care at the John Ball Zoo   “Preventive Care ~ Annual Exams”


Whether you are taking your kids to the pediatrician, your dog or cat to your family veterinarian, or going to your personal doctor, one of the most important means of staying healthy is regular visits to your doctor for a physical exam. 

Dr. Ryan Colburn

Keeping The Zoo Healthy: Veterinarian Care At John Ball Zoo


Our goal at John Ball Zoo is to provide the best care possible for all of over 1,200 animals.  This care relies on the hard work of many people.  Our keepers are at the center of that care.  They provide nutritious meals, clean exhibits, and many forms of training and enrichment.  They are also an extremely important part of the veterinary medical care for the animals here at the zoo.


Dr. Ryan Colburn