Alexandria zoo prepares for 90th birthday celebration

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ALEXANDRIA, La. The Alexandria Zoo is excited to celebrate their 90th birthday with the community this Saturday.

Honey, a spider monkey, will get two birthday presents as she celebrates turning 10 the Friday before the zoo turns 90.

Angele Ehlers, a media specialist for the zoo, said, "You can't have a birthday party without presents, right?" and gave Honey a birthday treat.

However, Honey’s gift was just a preview of the fun planned for all of the zoo's residents.

"You know, ice-cakes and birthday presents with different treats in there that they'll get to play with and enjoy," said Ehlers.

The zoo said they also consider the community to be a part of their family, and they will be open from 9am to 4pm free of charge so the community can enjoy the animals and many activities arranged.

"Inflatable bounce houses, an obstacle course, we'll have face painting over there too," said Ehlers.

Mark Atwood, owner of Atwood’s Bakery, has visited the zoo since he was a child, and has always remembered the lions.

"The first lion that they had, and they used to let you go and pet it and all that,” said Atwood, “but that was when it was just a little baby."

Now, Atwood and his daughter have designed a lion cake that stands 7’6” tall, and will feed around 1,500 people as they celebrate the zoo's legacy in Cenla.

“Every time they have a major birthday, we do something special," said Atwood.

The zoo said they have a lot to celebrate, and have come a long way since thier earliest days.

"It was just one strip of cages,” said Ehlers, “you could actually drive your vehicle right up to the zoo. There was no perimeter or anything."

"It has developed from a small menagerie into a full-fledged, accredited zoo by the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums."

The Alexandria Zoo is working toward big plans for the future as well.

"Renovating and expanding our hospital facility,” said Ehlers, “Which, animal healthcare is a top priority for us."

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