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Upcoming Events

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“Awash with Color:…

May 1 - 21, 2016
Join us at the Historic New Orleans Collection for the new exhibition… more

Backbeat Jazzfest…

May 1 - 1, 2016
Join us for Funky But Better. more

Backbeat Jazzfest…

May 1 - 1, 2016
Join us for Mia Borders and Colin Lake. more

BB King's Blues Club…

May 1 - 1, 2016
Join us at the BB King's Blues Club New Orleans for BB King Tribute Band more

BB King's Blues Club…

May 1 - 1, 2016
Join us at the BB King's Blues Club New Orleans for Jason D. more

BB King's Blues Club…

May 1 - 1, 2016
Join us at the BB King's Blues Club New Orleans for Keith Stone Band. more

BB King's Blues Club…

May 1 - 1, 2016
Join us at the BB King's Blues Club New Orleans for Marc Stone Band. more

BB King's Blues Club…

May 1 - 1, 2016
Join us at the BB King's Blues Club New Orleans for Roddy Romero & The Hub… more

City Park Presents -…

May 1 - 1, 2016
Join us in the New Orleans Botanical Garden in New Orleans City Park for City… more

DISNEY ON ICE…

May 1 - 1, 2016
The celebration of the century comes alive in Disney On Ice celebrates 100… more

Disney on Ice: 100…

May 1 - 1, 2016
Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic! The monumental ice skating… more

Irvin Mayfield & The…

May 1 - 1, 2016
Close out your festival weekend with House of Blues New Orleans for Irvin… more

Irvin Mayfield and…

May 1 - 1, 2016
Grammy Award Winning Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra perform… more

Irvin Mayfield Jazz…

May 1 - 1, 2016
Join us at The Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for… more

Mama's Music

May 01, 2016 - Jan 10, 2026
In Big Mama's Lounge. 21+ with valid photo I.D. 7-string guitarist Justin… more

New Orleans Jazz &…

May 1 - 1, 2016
Jazz Fest is the celebration of the unique culture and heritage of New Orleans… more

New Orleans Photo…

May 1 - 29, 2016
The New Orleans Photo Alliance (NOPA), is proud to be the first venue to … more

PONDEROSA STOMP…

May 1 - 1, 2016
Kick off the day with Awakenings presented by Stumptown Coffee Roasters and… more

SOUTH LOUISIANA SWAMP…

May 1 - 1, 2016
A rich gumbo of So. LA talent takes over Three Keys with Keith Frank and the… more

The Historic New…

May 1 - 7, 2016
In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of World War I, The Historic New… more

“Awash with Color:…

May 1 - 21, 2016
Join us at the Historic New Orleans Collection for the new exhibition… more

Audubon Zoo Elephants Packing Their Trunks for New Home

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contacts:
Frank Donze
Office 504-212-5335
Cell 504-232-7461
fdonze@auduboninstitute.org
 

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.

LAZY RIVER
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.

NEW ORANGUTAN EXHIBIT
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.
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