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Georgia Southern’s wildlife center to reopen Oct. 5

Georgia Southern University’s famed Center for Wildlife Education Center and the Lamar Q Ball, Jr. Raptor Center will reopen Monday, Oct. 5, at 9 a.m.

Closed since the pandemic hit in March, workers have used the time to refurbish many areas of the center and finish a new observation deck at the waterfowl exhibit. Visitors will be able to enter the enclosure and view 125 ducks representing 16 species, the largest collection of waterfowl in Georgia.

“This new area is so serene — it’s almost like a painting in motion,” said Steve Hein, the center’s executive director. “We are so excited to finally welcome people back to the wildlife center, and to reintroduce them to this idyllic spot in the middle of the campus in Statesboro.”

The exhibit is the focal point of the Wetland Preserve, a project that began in 2009 and focuses on hydrology and ornithology. Located opposite the waterfowl pond is the Cypress Swamp, a great location to catch a glimpse of wading birds like egrets and herons.

As the center prepares to reopen, some new guidelines are in place to ensure the safety of visitors and of the wildlife center staff.

“Unfortunately, we are not yet able to open up our playground or campground area and we have had to temporarily suspend our daily programs,” said Hein. “But this could be a perfect place to get outside while still remaining socially distant since we have about 17 acres of property here, a wide assortment of birds and animals, and a discovery nature trail.”

Some spaces in the center have been modified to meet state and local social distancing guidelines. Face coverings are required while inside the main building. 

The Center for Wildlife Education is located on the Statesboro Campus at 1461 Forest Drive. It is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m – 4:45 p.m. For more information, visit

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/R2 institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving more than 26,000 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit


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