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Monroe zoo staff picking up pieces after Hurricane Delta

Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 6:28 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - As with many homes and businesses around the area, people with the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo are picking up the pieces of the damage caused by Hurricane Delta.

Doug Seegers is the Director of Community Affairs for the City of Monroe. He says three major exhibits suffered significant storm damage.

“Our lion exhibit was severely damaged. We’ve had to shut it down, and we’re working on getting the trees out of it. We have also had some major damage to our alligator exhibit. Alligators are okay. They’re hanging out under the trees and enjoying life,” Seegers said. “We also had some damage to our Australian exhibit. Some fencing and the corner of one of the buildings.”

Seegers says they had just gotten the zoo to a good place after Hurricane Laura. He says it is a setback, but he is hopeful for a strong comeback.

“It’s disheartening, but it’s an opportunity for change and an opportunity to make things better,” Seegers said.

Monroe City Councilwoman Kema Dawson-Robinson says the cleanup and recovery is going to take some time. She says right now they are planning on hosting a grand re-opening event on October 31st, but it is going to take all hands on deck to get the zoo ready.

“This zoo is in our community. A lot of areas around Louisiana do not even have a zoo. So, we are truly fortunate to have a place like this to call ours,” Councilwoman Robinson said.

Councilwoman Robinson says they are hosting a community-wide volunteer day on October 24th. She says it is important to get the community involved.

“Whether it’s donations, volunteer hours, any little thing will help because we want to make sure that this place is the place that people want to come and enjoy with their families,” Councilwoman Robinson said.

Seegers says there are multiple ways to help if you cannot volunteer physically. He says they are accepting donations for their landscaping campaign and donations through their Amazon wish lists.

“We’re looking and working hard to change the image of the zoo and make it a place that everybody in Monroe wants to come see how,” Seegers said.

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