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All-new retail experience also introduces Members and guests to the newest pachyderm in town

ATLANTA – April 5, 2023 – Zoo Atlanta is pleased to announce the opening of The Zoo Atlanta Explorer Store, an all-new retail experience at the Zoo. Under construction since late fall 2022, and designed and managed by Zoo Atlanta’s retail partners at Event Network, the venue features plush, toys, apparel, jewelry, housewares, regional-interest gifts, and more.

On board at Zoo Atlanta since 2021, Event Network serves as a retail partner for many Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoos and aquariums around the U.S., and is committed to featuring brands that preserve natural resources; offering eco-friendly toys and sustainable gifts; providing opportunities for local artisans; and benefiting conservation organizations.

Meet Big Tim by Ocean Sole

A notable centerpiece of the Zoo Atlanta Explorer Store is the newest pachyderm in town, Big Tim, made entirely of recycled flip-flops and hand-crafted by the team at Ocean Sole Africa. Big Tim was an 11-foot male “tusker” African elephant who lived in Amboseli National Park in Kenya. The hand-carved sculpture made of recycled ocean flip-flops celebrates the life of this beloved and majestic individual while highlighting the Zoo’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

“Zoo Atlanta is thrilled to open the doors of our Zoo Atlanta Explorer Store to our Members and guests. The store will be much more than a gift shop,” said Raymond B. King, President and CEO. “It will also be a shopping experience that tells the story of our commitment to leading by example in preserving our natural resources. We think our visitors are going to definitely want to set aside part of their Zoo visit to spend time there.”

The Zoo Atlanta Explorer Store will be open daily during Zoo Atlanta operating hours and is located in the Zoo’s Flamingo Plaza.


Rachel Davis
Director of Communications
404.624.2812 – office

Gavin Johnson
Public Relations and Communications Specialist
404.624.5980 – office

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 the African Savanna, featuring new and expanded habitats for African elephants, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, bontebok, warthogs, meerkats and rhinos; Savanna Hall, a state-of-the-art special event destination in the newly restored historic former home of the Atlanta Cyclorama; and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Plaza. For more information, visit

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