The Louisville Zoo is preparing to unveil the first components of its Leadership Capital Campaign project series. The Leadership Capital Campaign, which all-together encompasses $10.4 million worth of projects, will see new experiences debuting at the zoo each year from 2016 through 2018.
The first of the two components to be revealed in 2016 is the Elephant Encounter exhibit, which will be home to the zoo’s elephant pair, Mikki and Punch. The elephant exhibit has been dramatically renovated in a number of ways. The outdoor elephant yard has doubled in size to a total of 24,000 square feet, and the indoor elephant barn was remodeled. One of the more interesting updates to the elephant barn is the addition of rubber flooring, which should provide the elephants with more foot comfort.
Other enhancements incorporated in the Elephant Encounter area include a giant clay pit, in which the elephants enjoy rolling and digging, and a new elephant interaction area. The elephant interaction area will allow guests to observe trainers working with the elephants with training demonstrations and a variety of enrichment activities for the elephants. One feature at the interaction area is the elephant showers, which the elephants will be able to activate with the push of a button.
The other component of the expansion that will be made public in 2016 is Penguin Cove, a newly built exhibit for fairy penguins, also known as little penguins. The penguins, which are coming to the zoo from Australia, will be a new species joining the zoo’s collection, and their exhibit is well on its way to completion. The exhibit features a 13,000-gallon pool and will offer visitors the ability to see penguins displaying social and natural behaviors. The zoo will also offer private guest interactions along with daily penguin marches in the public space. The Penguin Cove exhibit is scheduled to open in late spring.