Upcoming Events


America, Illustrated:…

Nov 25, 2015 - Jan 05, 2016
New Orleans based M.S. Rau Antiques will pay tribute to The Saturday Evening… more

Ashe Cultural Arts…

Nov 25 - Dec 31, 2015
Join us for Ashe to Amen: the Enduring Spirituality of People of African… more

Blaze Pizza's Wine…

Nov 25, 2015 - Feb 24, 2016
Join as at Blaze Pizza New Orleans for Wine Down Wednesday. Purchase a glass of… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Nov 25, 2015
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

Jasper Johns:…

Nov 25, 2015 - Jan 31, 2016
Prints from the Donna Perret Rosen and Benjamin M. Rosen Collection: Jasper… more

Lakefront Arena…

Nov 25 - 25, 2015
The Festival of Praise Tour is bigger and better than ever! The tour was an… more

Newcomb Art Museum of…

Nov 25, 2015 - Jan 03, 2016
Join us for the  Exhibition: "A Shared Space: KAWS, Karl Wirsum,… more

Patriot, Planter,…

Nov 25, 2015 - Mar 20, 2016
NOMA will present the first exhibition to focus on the works of Pierre-Joseph… more

The Historic New…

Nov 25, 2015 - Jan 09, 2016
The Historic New Orleans Collection marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane… more

The Maison Presents -…

Nov 25, 2015 - Jul 26, 2017
The New Orleans Jazz Vipers play a free dinner show at The Maison every… more

The Photography of…

Nov 25, 2015 - Mar 01, 2016
The Photography of Modernist Cuisine: The Exhibition, a collection of over 50… more

Tim Youd: 100 Novels

Nov 25, 2015 - Feb 21, 2016
Los Angeles-based contemporary artist Tim Youd will visit NOMA to perform the… more


Nov 25, 2015 - Jan 10, 2016
This exhibition features work by the Japanese artist Bidou Yamaquchi. Trained… more

Visions of US:…

Nov 25, 2015 - Jan 24, 2016
Visions of US explores evolving ideas about American cultural identity from the… more

Bayou Classic…

Nov 26 - 26, 2015
Join us for the Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Parade. The parade will begin at the… more

Clyde & Iggy

Nov 26 - Dec 31, 2015
Join us for the local musical duo Clyde & Iggy.  Their repertoire… more

Fats Domino & Dave…

Nov 26 - Dec 27, 2015
Join us at the Carver Theater for a Music Tribute honoring Legendary Musicians… more

Florida Room: Jessica…

Nov 26 - 29, 2015
The Foundation Gallery is excited to present Florida Room by Jessica Bizer … more

2015 Battle of the…

Nov 27 - 27, 2015
The Bayou Classic is more than a football game. This annual event is one of the… more

Celebration in the…

Nov 27, 2015 - Jan 03, 2016
City Park's annual holiday lighting exhibit and festival returns with one of… more

America, Illustrated:…

Nov 25, 2015 - Jan 05, 2016
New Orleans based M.S. Rau Antiques will pay tribute to The Saturday Evening… more

Audubon Zoo Elephants Packing Their Trunks for New Home

Media Contacts:
Frank Donze
Office 504-212-5335
Cell 504-232-7461

Audubon Zoo Elephants Packing Their Trunks for New Home
State-of-the-Art Elephant Barn, Splash Park Expansion Coming Soon
(New Orleans, La.) - For nearly 75 years, elephants at Audubon Zoo have been greeting visitors from virtually the same spot.  This summer, the Zoo's two female Asian elephants, Panya and Jean, will move out of their 1930s-era Asian Domain enclosure that faces the Cooper Plaza fountain.

The new design measures 42,000 square feet or about one acre and closely resembles the Works Progress Administration (WPA)-style architecture of the existing barn that debuted to much fanfare in the late 1930s in what was then known as the Merz Memorial Zoo.

The new enclosure will be contoured, with gentle inclines, shade trees, two elephant pools and an "enrichment tree,"  a replica of a fallen tree trunk which will allow the elephants to forage for food, including fruit and pumpkins.

Notably, the new building, which features heated, padded floors, is designed to house four elephants. Audubon Zoo officials plan to acquire at least one more elephant sometime in the future to join Panya, who is 49 years old, and Jean, who is 40. Both elephants have been at Audubon for 30-plus years. Jean arrived in 1978 and Panya came to Audubon in 1980.

Relocating the elephant exhibit is part of a larger redesign of the Asian Domain that is taking place at the same time as another project: the addition of a "lazy river‘' water attraction to the popular Cool Zoo splash park, now in its third season. The construction work, which began earlier this year, will continue into 2014.

The official name of the attraction is "Gator Run.'' It will take approximately seven minutes to make a round trip in the exhibit, which measures about 750 linear feet in length. Gator Run will be three feet deep and 12 feet wide. It will have two sand beaches and three water cannons that can spray people as they float on the water.
The Lazy River will give Cool Zoo customers the added option to float atop inner tubes past animal exhibits. Cool Zoo is about 14,000 square feet. The second phase will add 44,000 square feet of space for a total of nearly 60,000.

The existing elephant barn structure will be renovated to house the Zoo's orangutan collection. The exhibit will get a new moat, a new roof, new play structures and will be retrofitted with night houses for orangutans. Moving the orangutan exhibit from the World of Primates to the Asian Domain is designed to enhance the geographic approach to the Audubon Zoo animal collection. Orangutans are an Asian species.
Other exhibit moves at Audubon Zoo include:
  • A renovated leopard exhibit that recently opened next to the existing elephant exhibit.
  • A relocation of the popular contact yard/petting zoo in the Discovery Walk that has been home to goats, sheep, pigs and other small animals to a new enclosure near Monkey Hill adjacent to the giraffe exhibit. Petting zoo animals are on exhibit in a temporary home in the Asian Domain across from the Babirusa exhibit. The new petting zoo is slated to open later this summer.
All construction projects are scheduled to be completed by spring of 2014.

Audubon Nature Institute is a 501(c)3 not for profit that operates a family of museums and parks dedicated to nature. These New Orleans facilities include: Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Entergy IMAX® Theatre, Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species, Audubon Wilderness Park, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium and Audubon Nature Institute Foundation.