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Jackson zoo reopens its doors after facing catastrophe in December

Wild World Biodiversity Center has a new look
Updated: Jun. 12, 2021 at 6:58 PM EDT
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JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) - A Jackson zoo is reopening its doors after a devastating fire in December. Now the owners are taking pride in their new location.

“It’s been a 30-year dream to own something like this and to build on a ranch that’s historical like this is beyond anything I could have ever imagined,” said Brendan Finerty, owner of Buffalo Ranch Wild World Biodiversity Center.

Wild World’s previous building burned down in an electrical fire. Thankfully none of the animals were hurt but the fire led to something even bigger, a revamp of a ranch that many in Hanover Township grew up with.

“A lot of memories here. Lot of people grew up here you know,” said Gary Childs, the original owner of the ranch for 30 years.

This ranch that had been closed for 5 years is now filled with sheep, cattle, crocodiles, swans, and more.

“It was incredible how excited people were. People reaching out saying congrats thank you. People were driving by honking their horns putting their windows down and yelling congrats,” said Finerty.

Organizers are hoping to bring back Buffalo, the original animal housed at the ranch in the 70s. They have plans for Fall activities and more animals in the future.

“In the Fall time we’re hoping to do things like hay rides and keep the rustic feel of it and in the spring we’ll do an Easter egg hunt,” said Finerty.

Organizers say they’re happy and thankful they were able to bring this tradition back to life for the local community.

For more information on their upcoming events and hours, click here.

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