The possibility of snow and rain over the weekend has delayed The Zoo in Forest Park’s opening.
The zoo in Springfield was expected to open March 25. But that day could see a wintry mix, including snow, sleet and some cold rain, across the interior and higher terrain, according to the National Weather Service on Wednesday.
Forecasters believe it could start out as a mix of sleet and snow across the interior before slowly changing into rain and sleet, with the potential for all rain everywhere except in the highest elevations. Springfield has a 90% chance of rain and snow before 9 a.m.
Instead, the zoo is opening Saturday, April 1.
The zoo is celebrating the opening day with a birthday party for its 19-year-old leopard, Oz. It will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“Visitors will enjoy feline festivities including enrichment activities for Oz, a piñata filled with his favorite snacks, gifts for him to open, and a meat cake,” the zoo said.
Eggstravaganza, the zoo’s annual Easter event, is still on April 8. Tickets for that event can be purchased online.
The zoo will be open weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through mid-May, however, will be open daily April 9 to April 23 for school vacation weeks. After Mother’s Day, the zoo will be open daily.