River otter pups born at Alexandria Zoo

River otter pups born at Alexandria Zoo

On February 26, the Alexandria Zoo family got a little bit bigger. North American river otters Mack and Emmy welcomed two new additions, a male named Ollie and a female named Maisy.

Otter pups are born blind and completely dependent on their mother. "Emmy has been an awesome mom so far. We’re so excited at how well she’s done," said zookeeper Laura Yerby.

Around one month old, the pups's eyes open, and at about two months, mom starts teaching them to swim.

For now, Emmy and the pups are separated from Mack, so Mom and Dad will alternate time in the exhibit. "As soon as the pups start swimming well, which usually happens around three months old, we'll introduce Mack back into the family," said Yerby.

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Don't miss this summer's biggest blockbuster hit

Don't miss this summer's biggest blockbuster hit

This summer, coming to a zoo near you, it's Summer Safari: Lights. Conservation. Animals! Our production crew is ready on set for this action-packed adventure filled with wildlife and conservation.

During Summer Safari, children in pre-k through the 8th grade can spend a whole week learning about Alexandria Zoo, its unique residents, and how we all play an important role as stewards of our planet. Classes are geared to a specific age group, with fun, age-appropriate lessons and activities. Sessions include animal encounters, visits with zookeepers, behind-the-scenes tours, hands-on activities, and more.

Under the guidance of educators and zoo staff, children explore the natural world through fun and exciting conservation activities with the goal of fostering their love and appreciation of wildlife.

The weeklong, half-day camps begin June 5 and run through August 4. Class fees are $95 for current FOTAZ Members and $115 for non-members.

For more information about Summer Safari or to register online, click below.

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5 animals that deserve some love this Valentine's Day

5 animals that deserve some love this Valentine's Day

We all need love, even animals. While the cute and fuzzy creatures hog most of our affections, there are many less glamorous animals that deserve our love and appreciation for the vital role they play in healthy ecosystems. Here are five animals looking to win over your untamed heart this Valentine’s Day.

1. Red River Hog
Super fine swine looking for love. Ruggedly handsome and always dressed for success in a colorful red coat. Enjoys spending days wallowing in the river. Always in search of a good meal and someone to share it with.

2. Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
Seeking someone to share hugs and hisses with. Loves the nightlife and taking long walks in the forest. Avid environmentalist, working to keep forests clean and healthy.

3. Corn Snake
Serpent searching for that sss-pecial someone to slither into my heart. Bessst at keeping rodents from destroying crops. Very laid back, rarely gets rattled.

4. Double-wattled Cassowary
Family-oriented, devoted dad. Enthusiastic gardener, dropping fertilizer and seeds throughout the rainforest.

5. King Vulture
Seeking a royal place on the throne of your heart. Enjoys the majesty of flying. Crowning environmental achievement is cleaning up rotting carcasses and preventing the spread of disease.

Want to learn more about these amazing creatures?
Red River Hog | Madagascar Hissing Cockroach | Corn Snake | Double-wattled Cassowary | King Vulture

Mambo over for the Mardi Gras Party

Mambo over for the Mardi Gras Party

Laissez les bons temps rouler Saturday, February 25 at Alexandria Zoo! Following the Children’s Parade, mambo over to the zoo for the Mardi Gras Party from 2 - 4 pm.

Sink your teeth into a delectable slice of king cake, courtesy of Atwood's Bakery. These sweet creations will be served up at the Festival Plaza.

Enjoy two live performances on stage. Hit the dance floor with The LaCour Trio and take a nostalgic journey through World War II-era musical classics performed by the National WWII Museum's charming vocal trio, the Victory Belles. Their spirited performances of such hits as Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree, Chattanooga Choo Choo and I'll Be Seeing You, are all sung in a rich, three-part harmony.

Guests can also tour the zoo, stop by the Education Building to see some little creatures up close, and visit with Roary the Lion and other costumed characters.

The Mardi Gras Party is sponsored by the City of Alexandria, Friends of the Alexandria Zoo, Atwood's Bakery, and the Alexandria / Pineville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Regular zoo admission. FOTAZ Members are free with card and photo ID.

Oh, baby! Two endangered primate species born at Alexandria Zoo

Oh, baby! Two endangered primate species born at Alexandria Zoo

In less than a month, Alexandria Zoo has had the privilege of celebrating the births of a trio of healthy babies.

Walk through the Asian area at Alexandria Zoo on any given morning and you’re likely to be serenaded by siamangs Tucker and Ashley. With the arrival of their first offspring on December 22, the pair and the zoo have a lot to sing about. The baby, whose gender has yet to be determined, is the first siamang born at Alexandria Zoo.

On January 8, the cotton-top tamarins welcomed twins, marking the arrival of the zoo’s first babies of 2017. Cotton-top tamarins have been at Alexandria Zoo since 1987 and the twins are the most recent of several tamarins born here over the years.

The births are significant for the conservation of both species as siamangs are endangered and cotton-top tamarins are critically endangered.

All three youngsters are being reared by their very attentive moms and dads, which have exhibited excellent parental care. Both the siamangs and cotton-top tamarins have built strong family bonds, with both fathers sharing in the duties of raising the young.

Once the babies are old enough to live on their own, the Species Survival Plan coordinators for each species will determine whether the offspring stay at the zoo or go to another facility to be paired with other primates. Both primate families are spending time in their outdoor habitats so visitors can catch a glimpse of the little bundles of joy.

Watch Siamang Video   Watch Cotton-top Tamarin Video

Long journey home for young cubs

Long journey home for young cubs

For brother and sister Jack and Diane the cougars and brothers Chipp and Obie the black bears, life took a rocky turn at a young age.

At only a few months old, the wild born sibling pairs were orphaned. In the wild, young cougars and black bears can stay with their mothers for up to two years. "The life skills that are developed while watching and learning from a parent, particularly the mother, are difficult for a human surrogate to instill," said Dr. Rebekah Riedel, Zoo Veterinarian. "This makes reintroduction back into the wild impossible in many cases."

Some orphaned animals are able to find a permanent home while others are not so lucky. Providing refuge for orphaned wild animals is an important role that zoos are sometimes able to fill, depending on timing and space availability.

Due to age and health issues associated with our elderly female cougar, the zoo began the search for a pair of young cougars. "The process usually begins by contacting the Species Survival Plan coordinator for the species and watching other zoos’ news to see if they are temporarily housing orphaned animals," said Lee Ann Whitt, Zoo Director. "We were able to provide a home for two young cougars and are happy to announce our older female, Kira, is still doing ok."

Charismatic cougars Jack and Diane were born in Washington state and arrived at the zoo in late 2015. Cougars are renowned for their strength, stealth and agility. Both Jack and Diane love to jump and balance on their exhibit props and investigate new sights and sounds. The pair will be moving into the renovated cougar exhibit later this spring.

"When we lost Mike, our male black bear, the search began for a nuisance or orphaned black bear in Louisiana. What we didn't expect was adopting two adorable brothers from a rehab facility in Minnesota," said Whitt. "But our accepting the cubs saved their lives."

Chipp and Obie were born in early 2016 in Minnesota and arrived at the zoo in December 2016. The rough and tumble boys have adapted quickly to their new home and are often seen playing and wrestling with each other. "They're a lot of fun. They're a handful and messy, but I'm having fun taking care of them," said zookeeper Laura Yerby. Right now Chipp is a little larger than Obie. As adults, black bears usually reach four to six feet in height and weigh 200 to 600 pounds.

Despite the shaky beginning for these two sibling pairs, each has found a place to call home at Alexandria Zoo.

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Share your love of animals and conservation

Share your love of animals and conservation

Alexandria Zoo is looking for adults with great people skills and a love for animals and conservation. Each year, volunteers donate hundreds of hours of their time, talents and energy in support of the Zoo.

Volunteers train to assist the zoo in the areas of education, special events, landscaping and grounds maintenance, zookeeper work and more.

Alexandria Zoo is accepting applications for the 2017 Adult Volunteer Training Program through Tuesday, January 31. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and possess a high school diploma or GED. Volunteers are required to pay a $25 program fee, attend all applicable training sessions to be held at the Zoo, and be a member of FOTAZ.

More Information   Download Application

Open Daily 9 am - 5 pm

Closed only Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year's Day


Alexandria Zoo
3016 Masonic Drive
Alexandria, LA 71301
P: (318) 441-6810