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BREC announces renovations coming to Baton Rouge Zoo

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BATON ROUGE - It's been a year since the Baton Rouge Zoo lost its Association of Zoos and Aquariums accreditation. The infrastructure and exhibits weren't up to par. Thursday, BREC revealed what renovations may be happening at the facility to reverse this.

“You have a zoo that is built to standards of circulation, animal management, and presentation that is 50 years old,” said Ace Torre, the president of Torre Design Consortium.

Torre was hired along with another design firm to come up with the new concepts. The major change needed, he says, is a new entrance.

“Take the entry of the zoo as it is today and reverse it to the other side of the zoo,” said Torre.

That means visitors would drive through Greenwood Park off of Highway 19 to get into the zoo, bringing the two attractions together.

“In past public meetings it showed that some people went to the park, didn't know there was a zoo; and some people went to the zoo, didn't know there was a park,” said Torre.

Inside, there will be millions of dollars worth of improvements. This will help regain AZA accreditation, which Torres says will happen in 2022.

Another big change: more animals.

“We had a tremendous request for more African animals. All the big stuff. Giraffes, lions, and elephants which is really the foundation of how the zoo got started years ago,” said Torres.

This is all part of phase one of renovations, which are not set in stone.

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