Zoo Atlanta will have a delayed opening this Saturday, April 27 due to the Run Like Wild 5K race. Gates will open at 9:30 a.m. 

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In celebration of the all-new African Savanna, opening later this summer, Zoo Atlanta is joining the found art movement in Atlanta by dropping priceless prizes throughout the metro area in summer 2019.

On Fridays beginning on June 28 and continuing until August 16, one lucky discoverer somewhere in metro Atlanta will find an original piece of art painted by Kelly, one of the African elephants at Zoo Atlanta. A special mystery grand prize will be hidden on August 23. Each prize will be accompanied by bonus instructions for redeeming four free general admission tickets, valid once the African Savanna opens later this summer.

Follow Zoo Atlanta on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for weekly clues to the prizes’ locations. Hints on each week’s location in the metro area will be posted on Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m., with the final clues of the week posted on Fridays at 11:30 a.m. View full contest rules at zooatlanta.org.

African elephants Kelly and Tara enjoy a robust and varied enrichment program, and painting is only one of many enrichment activities. Kelly paints with her trunk holding the paintbrush. Painting allows the elephants to manipulate items with their trunks, which are so dexterous that they can pick up an item as small as a dime. An elephant’s trunk contains around 100,000 muscles and tendons.

Kelly and Tara walked into their new environment for the first time on June 16, 2019, and are currently behind the scenes as they acclimate to their new spaces. They will occupy the Zambezi Elephant Center, the state-of-the-art indoor component of the new elephant complex, for a period while grass in their new habitat is being planted and given a chance to germinate. View video of the milestone on Zoo Atlanta’s YouTube channel.

Opening dates for the new elephant complex and other elements of the all-new African Savanna, which will also feature new and expanded habitats for giraffes, zebras, ostriches, warthogs and meerkats, are dependent on construction timing and on animal acclimation periods. Stay up to date at zooatlanta.org/africansavanna.


Rachel Davis, Director of Communications
404.624.2812 – office
404.309.2238 – cell

Gavin Johnson, Public Relations and Communications Specialist
404.624.5980 – office

ABOUT: About Zoo Atlanta
A proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the gold standard for animal care and welfare, Zoo Atlanta has a mission to save wildlife and their habitats through conservation, research, education and engaging experiences. The Zoo is home to more than 1,000 animals representing more than 200 species from around the world, many of them endangered or critically endangered. Highlights include giant pandas, including Ya Lun and Xi Lun, the only giant panda twins in the U.S.; one of North America’s largest zoological populations of great apes; and a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians. Recent transformations include Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience, home to more than 70 species in the world’s first LEED Gold-certified reptile and amphibian complex. Experiences include behind-the-scenes Wild Encounters with African lions, Aldabra giant tortoises, giant pandas and lemurs. Zoo Atlanta is open year-round with the exceptions of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Keeper Talks, interactive wildlife presentations, education programs and special events run year-round. For more information, visit zooatlanta.org.

Coming in summer 2019: the all-new African Savanna, featuring new and expanded habitats for African elephants, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, warthogs and meerkats. The African Savanna is part of the Zoo’s landmark Grand New View transformation. Future elements include Savanna Hall, a state-of-the-art special event destination, and a new grand entry plaza, opening in early 2020. For more on the Zoo’s mission and conservation programs and partnerships, visit zooatlanta.org/conservation or download the 2018 conservation report, Beyond the Zoo.

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