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Upcoming Events

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Hidden Treasures:…

Sep 2 - 2, 2014
Join Friends of the Cabildo as the Louisiana State Museum's impressive… more

Irvin Mayfield's Jazz…

Sep 2 - 2, 2014
Join us at The Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for… more

Kinder Garden:…

Sep 2 - 30, 2014
Play, learn and grow in this hands-on introduction to the world of gardens for… more

Kinder Garden:…

Sep 2 - 30, 2014
Play, learn and grow in this hands-on introduction to the world of gardens for… more

Maple Leaf Bar…

Sep 2 - 30, 2014
Join us for live entertainment featuring the Grammy Award winning ReBirth Brass… more

Standing in the…

Sep 2 - Nov 25, 2014
"Standing in the Shadows (No More)" is a series of narrative quilting… more

Funk Monkey featuring…

Sep 3 - 24, 2014
Join us for Funk Monkey featuring members of Bonerama. more

Grammy Award-winning…

Sep 3 - 24, 2014
Join us at The Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for… more

Irvin Mayfield's Jazz…

Sep 3 - 24, 2014
Join us at The Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for… more

Lunchbox Lecture -…

Sep 3 - 3, 2014
History remembers the American, British and Polish Paratroopers who jumped into… more

Mark of the Feminine

Sep 3 - Oct 4, 2014
Curator Regine Basha's Mark of the Feminine is the first in a series of… more

The Royal Sonesta's…

Sep 3 - 3, 2014
The Royal Sonesta New Orleans presents the September Round Table Luncheon… more

We Live to Eat Kick…

Sep 3 - 3, 2014
For the first time, this event is open-to-the-public and attendees will be able… more

White Glove Wednesdays

Sep 3 - 3, 2014
It's one thing to read on an exhibit label that an infantryman's pack in World… more

Irvin Mayfield's Jazz…

Sep 4 - 25, 2014
Join us at The Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for… more

Irvin Mayfield's Jazz…

Sep 4 - 25, 2014
Join us at The Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for… more

Jazz in the Park

Sep 4 - Oct 30, 2014
Jazz in the Park returns for nine straight weeks this fall,  with a… more

Special Presentation…

Sep 4 - 4, 2014
Join us for a  Special Presentation - "Challenging Internment"… more

The Trio featuring…

Sep 4 - 4, 2014
Join us for The Trio featuring Johnny Vidacovich, Roland Guerin, John Gros. more

17th Annual Save Our…

Sep 5 - 6, 2014
Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation is gearing up for its 17th Annual Save Our… more

Hidden Treasures:…

Sep 2 - 2, 2014
Join Friends of the Cabildo as the Louisiana State Museum's impressive… 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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