BROUSSARD — A new creature has joined the Zoo of Acadiana’s eclectic and growing family.
Evangeline, a reticulated giraffe, was sent from Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Kansas to join the zoo’s 8-year-old giraffe, Gabriel.
Lea Loftin, director of marketing and events for the Zoo of Acadiana, said Evangeline has been doing well since her arrival, including acclimating with Gabriel and her new enclosure.
“To make Evangeline feel very welcome we have been feeding her bamboo, tasty alpha hay and apples for treats. She enjoys her heated barn and is very curious about our guests,” said Loftin.
The zoo has been raising money for two years to purchase a female giraffe, Loftin said. Female giraffes are more expensive than males, with Evangeline’s total cost close to $70,000, she said.
Loftin said the zoo plans to hold an “adult-only” engagement party for the giraffes in spring 2013. She said the zoo had similar events in the past for Zoolebrate when it served food and adult beverages from local restaurants, featured live music and dancing and held silent and live auctions.
She said in the weeks after the engagement party, the zoo will marry Evangeline and Gabriel with a Justice of the Peace ceremony in their shared enclosure behind the concessionstand.
“Evangeline is nine years old and has given birth to three baby giraffes already, so we are very excited to mate the two of them,” saidLoftin.
Loftin said the zoo will not offer any type of feeding programs for the giraffes. However, the zoo has an Adopt an Animal Program that allows visitors to adopt an animal for a fee. For the $200 program, you can assist a zoo keeper in feeding the animal and observe the animal and its exhibit from behind thescenes.
For more information about the Adopt an Animal Program call837-4325.