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The Alexandria Zoo officially reopens after storm damage

2 months 4 weeks 1 day ago Monday, March 15 2021 Mar 15, 2021 March 15, 2021 5:45 AM March 15, 2021 in News
Source: Associated Press

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) — The gates to the Alexandria Zoo are once again open.

The zoo closed down because of the coronavirus pandemic and then was significantly damaged by Hurricane Laura last August. About 75 trees fell across the zoo and winds compromised more than 20 animal enclosures when Laura swept through the area.

On Friday, the venue reopened to the public to a steady stream of visitors.

“We thought we would have a small line,” Zoo Director Max Lakes told The Town Talk. They were “happily surprised” to have a steady line throughout the day. Even so, the zoo never reached its COVID-19 restriction capacity of 250 people per hour.

The puma habitat was one of the main exhibits destroyed in the storm. The ever-popular pumas, Jack and Diane, are temporarily being kept at the zoo in Baton Rouge, KALB-TV reported. Alexandria Zoo Director, Dr. Max Lakes, said he is hoping to have the pumas back in Alexandria next month and add even more exhibits for the community to enjoy.

“We are very grateful Baton Rouge has been able to house them for us but we are excited to have them back,” Lakes said.

The Alexandria Zoo, for now, will be open from Friday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The train, one of the more popular attractions at the zoo, will not be running. Stroller rentals will not be available. The playground area, indoor habitats are closed and no zookeeper chats will be given.

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