Tom Pearson talks about changes he plans to make to the zoo; How the community is helping


MONROE, LA (KTVE/KARD)– The zoo could look a little different the next time your family visits.
NBC 10 exclusively talked with the new zoo director, Tom Pearson, about the changes he’s making to the zoo.

“I think we are going to see some really significant changes coming in the near future, but It’s not going to happen overnight,” said Tom Pearson, Director of the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo.

Tom Pearson, Director of Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo

Renovations at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo are already underway as it’s only been 2 weeks since Tom Pearson was named the new director of the zoo.

“The zoo is a diamond in the rough right now, it is unique in this area. I believe it is the most visited venue in northeast Louisiana,” said Pearson.

The community is already working to make that dream come true. Over 150 volunteers got their hands dirty as they worked to make improvements to the zoo.

“The zoo has got so much potential, it just needs people who care about it and are willing to come in and put in the sweat equity that it takes to keep up a property like this up,” said Susan Weaver, volunteer.

Pearson says he has a list of things he wants for the zoo. Visitors may only see some minor changes at first as they are still cleaning up from Hurricane Laura.

“So initially you are just going to see things cleaned up. You’re going to see a change in the color. The green, I haven’t found anyone who likes it, that’s going to be changed. We’re going to re-landscape the front of the zoo. That’s some of the things that are on the immediate short term,” said Pearson.

But long term, visitors could be walking into a whole new zoo.

“Long term will probably be the replacement of every building out here, a modernization of the zoo, and more organization of the zoo. Again, this is with the support form the community and the new administration, but especially your viewers,” said Pearson.

Pearson says he hopes to have the zoo re-opened by late October or early November.

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