Contact: Frank Donze
Office 504-212-5335
Cell 504-232-7461

(New Orleans, La.) - Audubon Zoo will be an even "cooler'' place to visit this year as the thermometer rises.

Gator Run, a lazy river, debuts Sunday, March 29, 2015, as the newest chill out feature in the popular Cool Zoo splash park. It takes approximately seven minutes to make a round trip atop an inner tube in the lazy river, which measures about 750 linear feet in length.

Three feet deep and 10 feet wide, the lazy river features two sand beaches and four water cannons that can shower visitors as they float by.

"When the temperature rises in southeast Louisiana and across the Gulf South, families are always looking for new ways to cool down,'' said Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman. "As we celebrate the fifth summer for Cool Zoo, we are excited about the addition of Gator Run as yet another summertime option to beat the heat. ‘'

Gator Run is the second phase of the Cool Zoo which opened in 2011, and gives guests a new way to enjoy animal exhibits. The lazy river adds expands the water park to nearly 60,000 square feet of space, four times the size of the Cool Zoo that opened four years ago.

The lazy river expansion includes showers, restrooms, outdoor seating and a concession area. Future plans include a pizza parlor.

Just like Cool Zoo, the water flowing in the lazy river can be heated when necessary.

The original phase of Cool Zoo returns with all its favorite features: the alligator water slide, the spider monkey soaker, water-spitting snakes and shady spots for parents.

Admission to Cool Zoo, including Gator Run, is $10 for Audubon Nature Institute members and $12 for non-members, plus Audubon Zoo admission.

Pay-One-price wristbands are $12 for Audubon members and $15 for non-members, offering admission to Cool Zoo and Gator Run and unlimited access to Audubon's Dinosaur Adventure, train rides and carousel rides on the day of the purchase.

Rafts are included in the admission price for Gator Run. Anyone under 48 inches will need a life jacket supplied by Audubon Zoo. No outside food or beverage is allowed in Cool Zoo or Gator Run. Visitors can bring their own towels or purchase them at the Cool Shop.

Other rules and regulations can be found here:

Audubon Zoo will host a media preview party on Friday, March 27, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The preview will follow a 2:00 p.m. news conference. Please click here to RSVP by Tuesday, March 24 or call Frank Donze at 504-212-5335.

Admission to Audubon Zoo is $18.95 for adults, $13.95 for children 2-12, and $14.95 for seniors 65+. Audubon Nature Institute members are admitted free of charge.

Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St., is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m through Labor Day. For details visit,

Audubon Nature Institute is a 501(c)3 not for profit that operates a family of museums and parks dedicated to nature. These New Orleans facilities include: Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Entergy IMAX® Theatre, Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium and Audubon Nature Institute Foundation. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.