NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Elephant and zoo goers alike are about to enjoy a brand new exhibit at the Audubon Zoo. Next week, the Audubon Institute is set to open the new expansive elephant exhibit. The new pad will be home to Panya and Jean, two Asian elephants that called the Audubon Zoo home for more than 30 years. The grand opening is scheduled for April 26.
The new habitat features several innovative features, including a 12-foot-deep immersion pool and an enrichment log which allows the elephants to forage for food. The elephant's new home will also consist of a 5,000 square foot barn that the zoo's curator says is fancier than most.
The old barn where the elephants used to roam has recently been transformed into a new home for the orangutans, which includes four big air-conditioned bedrooms where the animals can chill. The entire primate area has long been one of the big attractions at the New Orleans Audubon Zoo and is located near the front gate entrance. The entire exhibit has grown from 6-thousand to over 42-thousand feet of exhibit space.
The new exhibit will also include an elephant education pavilion that will help teach the public about elephant conservation programs. An added attraction for zoo goers is new, interactive activities.
On the opening day, students from the Kingsley House will be on site creating arts and crafts as well as assisting with the exhibit opening.