The wait is over as the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge Zoological Park opens its gates to the public at 10 a.m. June 15 for its Grand Opening celebration.



Festivities will include animal encounters, zookeeper talks, children’s activities, food, drinks, and more. The Refuge’s animal ambassadors will also be on site to meet and greet the public.



“Our dedicated volunteers have made this dream become a reality,” said Amanda Wilkerson, executive director of the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. “They rallied with us to renovate and improve exhibits, buildings and zoo grounds. We have come this far because of them and it doesn’t stop there.”



The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge acquired the zoo — formerly Sasquatch Zoo — in January. The zoo is home to more than 100 animals from all over the world, including big cats, primates, foxes, wolves, antelope, deer and a petting zoo.



A new resident at the zoo will be unveiled at the Grand Opening and children can enter a contest to name him.



The Refuge’s zoo hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday with last entry at 4 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 2-10. The zoo is located at 5262 Deer Springs Dr. in Crestview. For more information, call the refuge at 850-650-1880.