(New Orleans, La.) - Time is running out on a unique opportunity to enjoy an up-close encounter with Audubon Zoo's two Asian elephants in their new home.

The exclusive backstage elephant barn tours that debuted last year will end on Saturday, December 20, 2014.

Advance tickets are recommended. The Elephant Barn Tour makes a great holiday present and gift certificates are available. Elephant Barn Tour tickets can be purchased by visiting auduboninstitute.org.

The Elephant Barn Tour is available Fridays and Saturdays at 3:15 p.m. through December 20. Tickets are sold up to one hour before the start of the tour.

The encounters are limited to seven guests, six years old and above. One adult must accompany each child under 10 years of age (one adult per child). Groups with children under 17 must include an adult chaperone (21 or older).

Tickets for the Elephant Barn Tour are $65 per person for Audubon members and $75 per person for non-members. All attendees must have a ticket. Tickets include same day admission to Audubon Zoo.

In addition to a behind-the-scenes look at the new state-of-the-art living quarters for Panya and Jean, Audubon Zoo's two female Asian elephants, the experience offers visitors a chance to chat with the elephants' keepers and a rare opportunity to meet the pachyderms face to face.

The Elephant Barn Tour gives guests a fun and educational experience with two of the Audubon Zoo's most beloved residents. The excursion lasts about one hour.

Guests learn about elephants and how the Zoo cares for the largest animals in its collection. They will hear about everything from the elephants' diet to their exercise program to the special features in their new exhibit. Remember to bring a camera to capture the special moment with Panya and Jean.

The behind-the-scenes experience may be subject to cancellation on short notice due to unforeseen circumstances. In the event of a cancellation, each ticket holder is entitled to receive a refund.

Funds raised from ticket sales are dedicated to the support and care of Audubon's animal collection along with the many conservation initiatives supported by Audubon Nature Institute.

Audubon Zoo is located at 6500 Magazine Street. Regular admission to Audubon Zoo is $17.50 for adults, $12 for children and $13 for seniors 65+. Audubon Nature Institute members are admitted free of charge.

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.