Detroit Zoological Society to host anniversary celebration

By Mike Fossano

The Detroit Zoological Society is hosting a birthday bash to celebrate its 100th year and commemorate the anniversaries of three of the Detroit Zoo’s signature habitats. The zoo has extended invitations to the community to partake in the ceremonies, which take place on Saturday, Oct. 22, and Sunday, Oct. 23, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Detroit Zoological Society is observing the 10-year anniversaries of the Arctic Ring of Life and National Amphibian Conservation Center and the 50-year anniversary of the Holden Museum of Living Reptiles.

Visitors will be able to test their knowledge of the Detroit Zoo with a scavenger hunt, including a quiz with questions about the three habitats. Prizes can be redeemed at the Ford Education Center plaza on the south side of the zoo, where guests can enjoy treats and refreshments and celebrate with the Zoo’s mascots, Junior Z and the Zooper Heroes.

The Arctic Ring of Life will remain open until 8 p.m. that weekend for Zoo Boo. The award-winning facility is North America’s largest polar bear habitat and was named the number-two best zoo exhibit in the country by The Intrepid Traveler’s Guide to America’s Best Zoos. Its signature and perhaps most well-known feature is the Frederick and Barbara Erb Polar Passage, where visitors walk through a 70-foot clear underwater tunnel while polar bears and seals swim above and around them.

The award-winning National Amphibian Conservation Center is a leader in amphibian conservation and research. The habitat is situated on a two-acre wetland area called Amphibiville and houses a spectacular diversity of frogs, toads, salamanders, newts and caecilians. When the attraction opened in 2001, the Wall Street Journal dubbed it “Disneyland for toads”.

The Holden Museum of Living Reptiles houses more than 85 species of exotic snakes, lizards, turtles and other reptiles. The facility recently unveiled a striking new habitat for an 18-foot reticulated python. Named for James S. Holden, a founding Zoo commissioner, the building hosted more than 30,000 guests on a single day its opening month.

Detroit Zoological Society Quick Hits:

– The nonprofits Detroit Zoological Society is celebrating its 100th year and operates both the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Zoo.

– The Detroit Zoo sits on 125 of naturalistic habitats at the intersection of 10 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue, just off I-696, in Royal Oak.

– The Zoo is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April through Labor Day, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day after Labor Day through October and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November through March.

– Admission is $12 for adults 15 to 61, $10 for senior citizens 62 and older, and $8 for children 2 to 14 (children under 2 are free).

– The Belle Isle Nature Zoo is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. year-round; admission is free.

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