MONROE, LA (10/11/20)– The Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo have spent the past 6 weeks cleaning up from Hurricane Laura. However, yesterday morning, Delta left them with damage to three more animal exhibits and multiple trees down.
“We weren’t even finished cleaning up from laura, and now Delta came. We have more clean up to do,” said Tom Pearson, Director of Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo.
A few weeks ago, more than 200 volunteers came out to the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo to clean up after Hurricane Laura. However, after tropical storm Delta blew through on Saturday, the zoo is seeing more damage.
“Unfortunately our lion exhibit took a pretty bad hit, the whole corner of the exhibit was crushed by a huge tree. Then our Australia exhibit had damage, a whole fence line was taken out,” said Pearson.
In addition, the alligator exhibit was completely overtaken by a 75-foot tree that had fallen during the storm.
“The crown of the tree actually came down on top of our alligator exhibit with two alligators in there. It took us a little while to even find them to see if they are okay, but they are accounted for and our fine,” said Pearson.
Director of the zoo, Tom Pearson, says no animals escaped, died, or were injured at the zoo as they all spent the night in their night homes. On top of all the work zoo officials and community volunteers have done just to clean up after both storms, they’re not going to stop there. Pearson tells us exclusively new plans for the zoo once the clean up has been completed.
“The whole front of the zoo is in the process of being relandscaped. We’re going to be doing a lot of exterior painting. We are standing on the catwalk currently and it’s quite extensive, but the decking and railing are way past due. We did get funding for that, about 40 thousand dollars. I also believe we are getting funding for two new boats. A lot of things are happening, but its still full steam ahead on all of those projects,” said Pearson.
The zoo is still scheduled for its grand reopening on Saturday, October 31st. The zoo is having a volunteer clean-up day on Saturday, October 24th. As of right now, this is the last community clean up scheduled day before the grand reopening.